Michael Boresky of Runnemede; Korean War Army Veteran
Summit Oaks Hospital Responds to the Mental Health Crisis

United States of Care Releases New State Preparedness Handbook

 

Amid more than twenty states experiencing surges in confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the U.S. reaching the grim milestone of 2 million cases, United States of Care (USofCare) outlined five actions that officials can take to prevent and prepare for future spikes in Medicalncases.  

The five steps outlined in The COVID-19 State Preparedness Handbook include:

  1. Listening to the needs of different communities. The best responses come from listening first to people’s needs and understanding the challenges they have experienced since the pandemic began.  
  2. Communicating clearly with people and use data to guide quick decision making. State leaders should take steps to make sure they are well-positioned to act quickly, using the best information and data to inform their decisions. 
  3. Focusing on protecting people and places that face the highest risks. State leaders should be acting now to better protect settings that are high risk for COVID transmission and to plan for disruptions that could occur elsewhere if closures need to be reinstated. 
  4. Building health system capacity to meet people’s needs. State leaders should take steps to build a well-resourced and prepared health care system and support the health care workforce with the resources necessary to take care of people. 
  5. Building collaborative approaches now. State leaders should collaborate and partner with external stakeholders --both public and private--who are involved in COVID response and mitigation. 

COVIDEXITSTRATEGY, United States of Care, Resolve to Save Lives and Duke-Margolis Discuss Rising COVID-19 Cases

Through research and one-to-one conversations with Americans across the country, we know people want accurate and reliable data to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. COVID Exit Strategy is the answer to those needs.  To that end, on Thursday, covidexitstrategy.org partners United States of Care, Resolve to Save Lives, and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy held a press conference call and discussed the following: latest data in COVID-19 case trends, testing usage, health system capacity metrics, and other data elements. You can listen to the audio recording here.  For further information, please visit www.covidexitsrategy.org.
 



 

In Case You Missed It 

Humanizing the Health Care Debate and COVID-19 Response

Health care policy has historically been polarized and politicized. Core to why we started United States of Care, we hope to humanize the health care debate and response to COVID-19, as well as center solutions on what people need by listening to people and elevating shared and diverse values. We believe that if we – as a country and as leaders – aren’t meeting people where they are, we will miss the moment to pave a path toward lasting positive change.

We’ve found that the health care system, as it’s currently structured, doesn’t work for a lot of people across demographics.

  • The American public is calling for effective solutions addressing both the immediate challenges and the long-term gaps in our health care and safety-net systems. 
  • If leaders fail to meet people where they are and address their needs, our health care system and elected leaders will miss this critical moment to develop new solutions that serve people, rather than the health care system itself. 
  • People need to feel heard and that the health care system is there to support them. 

State Success Stories

We know that people want both effective and practical solutions that address both the immediate challenges and the long-term gaps in our health care and safety-net systems.   United States of Care applauds state policymakers who are responding to people’s needs now and for the future.  Here are a few examples:

  • In California, the Legislature is considering a bill that would establish the Project ECHO Grant Program, which would assist Children’s Hospitals in their efforts to address pediatric behavioral health through telemedicine.
  • The Louisiana Legislature passed a resolution urging the Dept. of Health to “study and develop a remote patient monitoring initiative within the Louisiana Medicaid program.”
  • In Massachusetts, the Legislature is considering a bill allowing those eligible for unemployment as a result of a layoff due to COVID-19 to enroll in MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program.
  • In Missouri, the Legislature recently passed an omnibus health bill (HB 1682) with a series of notable pieces:
    • First, HB 1682 (MO) established the Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund, which will channel dollars from lawsuits, donations, and appropriations toward programs and expenses that deal with addiction prevention and treatment. 
    • Second, HB 1682 (MO) created Long Term Care Savings Accounts, which allow individuals to make tax-exempt contributions to accounts with the purpose of financing future long-term care costs.
    • Third, HB 1682 (MO) requires health centers that provide labor and delivery services to give new parents and family members resources on postpartum depression signs and treatment options.
  • Colorado lawmakers have sent a bill to Governor Polis to preserve access to telehealth services after COVID-19 emergency orders end.

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