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So far Paul Natinsky has created 252 blog entries.

‘Comprehensive’ Tracker Shows MI At 54% Vaccinated

It turns out Michigan is a lot closer to hitting the first milestone of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Vacc to Normal plan than what the state data had been indicating.

The state released a Vacc to Normal tracker tonight that shows 54% of Michiganders have initiated their vaccinations. When the state hits 55%, Whitmer said in-person work would again be allowed for all sectors of business after two weeks have passed.

The state said its usual dashboard, which as of May 7 shows 51.5% had begun vaccinations, “slightly undercounts the true number of doses” given to Michigan residents.

The new tracker includes Michigan residents who were vaccinated out-of-state as well as in-state to get [Read More]

‘Comprehensive’ Tracker Shows MI At 54% Vaccinated2021-05-21T14:36:45-04:00

COVID Testing Has Become A Financial Windfall

By JAY HANCOCK & HANNAH NORMAN
Pamela Valfer needed multiple COVID tests after repeatedly visiting the hospital last fall to see her mother, who was being treated for cancer. Beds there were filling with COVID patients. Valfer heard the tests would be free.

So, she was surprised when the testing company billed her insurer $250 for each swab. She feared she might receive a bill herself. And that amount is toward the low end of what some hospitals and doctors have collected.

Hospitals are charging up to $650 for a simple, molecular COVID test that costs $50 or less to run, according to Medicare claims analyzed for KHN by Hospital Pricing Specialists. Charges [Read More]

COVID Testing Has Become A Financial Windfall2021-05-21T14:34:48-04:00

ON POINT WITH POs: Vaccination Pop-up Clinics Bring Community-Sensitive COVID Response

By EWA MATUSZEWSKI
Many readers know I’m an avowed foodie. Pre-COVID, I was always game to try the newest restaurant and have long been a devoted fan of Detroit’s eclectic food scene. Tell me about a pop-up restaurant and I’m first in line. The latter concept has appropriately grown during the pandemic, as leading chefs seek safe yet fun ways to feed and entertain their followers–while eking out a living for themselves and their workers in the process.

So for me, the idea of pop-up vaccination clinics may have been preordained. As a CDC approved vaccination distributor, our team, either directly or through partner relationships, has vaccinated 3,000 people as of this [Read More]

ON POINT WITH POs: Vaccination Pop-up Clinics Bring Community-Sensitive COVID Response2021-05-21T14:32:47-04:00

COMPLIANCE CORNER: Recent Michigan Law Bars Surprise Medical Billing

By KAITLIN A. NUCCI, ESQ
On Oct. 22, 2020, the Michigan Legislature enacted Enrolled House Bills 4459 and 4460 to protect consumers from surprise medical billing. The legislation creates limitations on out-of-network provider payments, requires providers to afford certain disclosures to patients regarding the costs of services and, overall, protects patients from excessive balance medical billing. Balance billing occurs when a healthcare provider first submits a claim to a patient’s insurer, and subsequently bills the patient for the outstanding balance that the patient’s insurance company did not cover.

To prevent surprise balance billing, House Bill 4460, now Public Act No. 235, requires out-of-network providers administering care to non-emergency patients to make [Read More]

COMPLIANCE CORNER: Recent Michigan Law Bars Surprise Medical Billing2021-05-21T14:30:52-04:00

LEGAL LEANINGS: DOJ Increases Focus On COVID 19 Fraud

By ANDREW SPARKS
In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided $2.2 trillion in economic relief. The Act was designed to quickly get money to millions of Americans suffering from the pandemic. Unfortunately, this relief provided ample opportunity for fraud. As the COVID pandemic begins to ease, the Department of Justice’s efforts to prosecute this COVID-19 fraud is intensifying. To date, the Department has charged nearly 500 defendants with criminal offenses for attempted fraud in excess of $550 million. The focus of the prosecutions have been schemes targeting the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, Unemployment Insurance programs, and relief [Read More]

LEGAL LEANINGS: DOJ Increases Focus On COVID 19 Fraud2021-05-21T14:25:32-04:00

In My Opinion: Social Justice

By ALLAN DOBZYNIAK, MD
At a recent meeting of the Wayne County Medical Society Editorial Board it was mentioned that today’s Wayne State University medical students have a greater interest in the idea of “social justice.” I initially assumed this was a positive change for the profession. But later I became unsure why this might be the case. Without a clear definition of “social justice” it is impossible to conclude whether this should be understood as something new, something positive or even possibly negative. This then raises the questions of how this unclear and undefined concept might apply to healthcare and its present and future physicians. Further, if “social justice” has [Read More]

In My Opinion: Social Justice2021-05-21T13:12:43-04:00

LANSING LINES

Lansing Lines is presented in cooperation with MIRS, a Lansing-based news and information service.

Shirkey Shows His Work On COVID Immunity Calculations
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) explained his calculation that Michigan residents are already at 70% immunity to COVID, if you’re counting “broad-based community immunity” rather than just shots in arms, in an interview with WRFH radio this week.

The state reports that more than 660,000 Michiganders have had the disease and recovered.

“We are greater than 50% of eligible adults (who) have at least received one shot and then — based on studies from Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Harvard, they all have done their own independent studies suggesting that states’ numbers [Read More]

LANSING LINES2021-05-18T18:33:16-04:00

12 Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in COVID’s First Year

By JANE SPENCER & CHRISTINA JEWETT
More than 3,600 U.S. healthcare workers perished in the first year of the pandemic, according to “Lost on the Frontline,” a 12-month investigation by The Guardian and KHN to track such deaths.

Lost on the Frontline is the most complete accounting of U.S. healthcare worker deaths. The federal government has not comprehensively tracked this data. But calls are mounting for the Biden administration to undertake a count as the KHN/Guardian project comes to a close.

The project, which tracked who died and why, provides a window into the workings — and failings — of the U.S. health system during the COVID-19 pandemic. One key finding: Two-thirds of [Read More]

12 Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in COVID’s First Year2021-04-18T19:52:09-04:00

Analysis: More COVID Outbreaks Have Followed Easing Of COVID Restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has eased numerous COVID-related restrictions on business sectors and other activities the past two months, and in many cases, the outbreaks for the corresponding sector increased since then, according to a MIRS review of weekly outbreak data reported to the state.
The outbreak categories that encompass restaurants and bars, some youth sports, retail, exercise facilities, indoor community exposures and social gatherings have all increased by various amounts since restrictions eased on those respective industries or functions.

That doesn’t include outbreaks tied to K-12 school settings, which were given the goal but not the mandate by Whitmer to resume some in-person learning by March 1. Almost all districts in [Read More]

Analysis: More COVID Outbreaks Have Followed Easing Of COVID Restrictions2021-04-18T19:50:27-04:00

IN OUR VIEW: We’re All COVID Long Haulers (and maybe that’s okay)

By PAUL NATINSKY
Not long ago, it seemed the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic was simple in concept, but daunting in execution. Wear masks, socially distance and wait for a vaccine that could be years away.

Now, with very effective vaccines widely available, we struggle with variants from across the globe that are more contagious than the original bug. We see unanticipated complications in young people, and we see long-lasting aftereffects among adults who have survived the virus’ initial ravages—the long haulers.

As this pandemic’s onion-like nature leaves increasing layers of questions in place of solid core answers, one thing is clear. Our lives have forever changed.

Much like universal precautions in the wake [Read More]

IN OUR VIEW: We’re All COVID Long Haulers (and maybe that’s okay)2021-04-18T19:48:14-04:00
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