Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Benefit: New Opportunities and New Challenges for Pharmacies | Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

More than seven months after the effective date of the new Medicare Part B Home Infusion Therapy (HIT) services, opportunities abound for pharmacies registered as qualified HIT providers. But challenges remain, mainly at the state level, as the adaptation of state regulatory structures has been delayed despite the promulgation of federal legislation establishing the benefit in 2016 and the promulgation of final implementing regulations at the end of 2020. With new payment rates for HIT offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a new Medicare enrollment protocol for HIT providers implemented in June 2021, however, the federal framework for delivery is fully established and will allow states to make further changes to their own licensing and regulatory structures. to take into account the new service.

The genesis of the Medicare HIT benefit can be found in section 5012 of 21st Century Cures Act, which amended several sections of the Social Security Act1 (the “Act”) and was enacted in 2016. Licensed pharmacies enrolled in the Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment (DME) program have been permitted to bill HIT for a transition period from 2019 to 2020.2 In November 2020, CMS promulgated a final rule to implement the registration requirements for the benefit, which came into effect on January 1, 2021.

Simply put, the HIT service covers (a) professional services, including nursing services, provided in accordance with a care plan, (b) training and education of patients not covered by the EMR service, (c) remote monitoring, and (d) other monitoring services for the delivery of HIT and home infusion medications provided by a qualified HIT provider, which are provided to the patient’s home.

Relevant definitions3 applicable to the service include:

  • Home – A place of residence serving as domicile for an individual, including an institution serving as domicile other than a hospital, critical access hospital, or skilled nursing facility. It can therefore be assumed that these services can be provided in environments such as assisted living facilities, personal care homes and other collective settings.
  • Home infusion medicine – A parenteral or biological drug administered intravenously, or subcutaneously for a period of administration of 15 minutes or more, to the home of an individual via a pump which is part of an EMR. The term does not include insulin pump systems or a self-administered or biological drug on a self-administered drug exclusion list.
  • Qualified Home Infusion Therapy Provider – A pharmacy, doctor or other service provider or provider approved by the national home infusion therapy provider who:
    • Provides infusion therapy to people with acute or chronic conditions requiring home infusion medication;
    • Ensures the safe and efficient delivery and administration of home infusion therapy 7 days a week, 24 hours a day;
    • is accredited by an organization designated by the secretary of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (the “secretary”);4 and
    • Meets such other requirements as the Secretary deems appropriate, taking into account the standards of care for home infusion therapy established by Medicare Advantage plans under Part C and in the private sector.

The qualified TIH provider should ensure that the patient is under the care of a physician, nurse practitioner, or medical assistant and has a plan of care from a physician that prescribes the type, amount, and duration infusion therapy services to be provided.5 The care plan should be reviewed periodically by the doctor6 in coordination with the supply of home infusion medicines.

The existing EMR benefit covers the infusion pump, associated supplies and equipment, and the drug for infusion, as well as some services needed to provide these items, such as pharmacy services, delivery and installation of the drug. equipment, and education / training related to EMR items. As indicated above, the HIT service covers professional services, education / training not covered by the EMR service and patient follow-up. Under the Act, a single payment unit corresponds to each “calendar day of administration of the drug by infusion” at the patient’s home.7 In addition, the payment received will vary depending on the use of nursing services by type of infusion therapy to reflect factors such as patient acuity and the complexity of drug administration. There are currently three payment categories. This payment is separate from the payment for the DME service.

A pharmacy that wishes to become a home infusion therapy provider for Medicare billing purposes must do so on CMS-855B, which came into effect on June 22, 2021. As part of the registration process, the provider must register. ” register in each state in which it has an accredited place of practice. The provider may provide services to patients’ homes across state borders as long as they are properly licensed in all states of service. Authorization to practice in the service record will generally take the form of a non-resident pharmacy license. For non-resident pharmacy licenses, state pharmacy licensing laws often require that the pharmacist responsible for the out-of-state pharmacy be licensed in the serving state. The pharmacy may also need to obtain a home health agency license depending on state law and the provider’s structure and business model vis-à-vis the nursing component, or even licensed for home infusion therapy from the state. Another consideration is whether various state nursing practice laws allow some or all of Medicare HIT professional functions to be performed by a licensed practical or licensed practical nurse, or whether a registered nurse must perform those functions.

Ultimately, states will adapt their legislative and regulatory frameworks to better adapt to the new service. Until then, however, pharmacies intending to establish a Medicare HIT footprint in multiple states should be prepared to do their homework, navigate a multitude of state regulatory issues, and be flexible enough to find. a business model that works in all of these states. .

[1] More specifically, Articles 1834 (u), 1861 (s) (2) and 1861 (iii).

[2] See article 50401 of the 2018 budget balancing law (Pub. L. 115-123).

[3] See Section 1861 (iii) of the Social Security Act and 42 CFR § 486.505.

[4] Currently, CMS recognizes the following organizations to provide HIT accreditation: Joint Commission (TJC), Accreditation Commission for Use Examination (URAC), Accreditation Commission for Healthcare (ACHC), Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and Compliance Team (TCT). CMS, Ed. 100-08 Integrity Handbook for Healthcare Providers, CMS Pub. 100-08, Medicare Provider Integrity Manual, § 10.2.2.8.B.

[5] 42 CFR §486.520.

[6] Username.

[7] Section 1834 (u) (1) (A) (ii) of the Act. Under 42 CFR § 486.505, “calendar day for drug administration by infusion” is defined as “the day on which home infusion therapy services are provided by qualified professionals in the individual’s home on day of administration of the drug by infusion. The skilled services provided on this day must be so inherently complex that they can only be performed safely and efficiently by, or under the supervision of, professional or technical personnel.


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Reusable N95 masks could offer reduced waste and costs, study finds

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, face masks and other personal protective equipment have become essential for healthcare workers. N95 disposable masks have been in particular demand to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

All of these masks have financial and environmental costs. It is estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic generates up to 7,200 tonnes of medical waste every day, much of which is disposable masks. And even if the pandemic slows in some parts of the world, healthcare workers should continue to wear masks most of the time.

That toll could be significantly reduced by adopting reusable masks, according to a new study from MIT which has calculated the financial and environmental cost of several mask use scenarios. Decontaminating regular N95 masks so that healthcare workers can wear them for longer than a day reduces costs and environmental waste by at least 75%, compared to using a new mask for each encounter with a patient.

“Not surprisingly, approaches that incorporate reusable aspects should not only generate the greatest cost savings, but also a significant reduction in waste,” says Giovanni Traverso, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the study’s lead author.

The study also found that fully reusable N95 silicone masks could offer an even greater reduction in waste. Traverso and his colleagues are currently working on the development of such masks, which are not yet commercially available.

Jacqueline Chu, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, is the lead author of the study, which appears in the British Medical Journal Open.

Reduce and reuse

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, N95 masks were scarce. In many hospitals, healthcare workers were required to wear a mask for a full day, instead of changing for each patient they saw. Later, some hospitals, including MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, began using decontamination systems that used hydrogen peroxide vapor to sterilize masks. This allows a mask to be worn for a few days.

Last year, Traverso and his colleagues began to develop a reusable N95 mask made of silicone rubber and containing an N95 filter that can be discarded or sterilized after use. The masks are designed in such a way that they can be sterilized with heat or bleach and reused multiple times.

“Our vision was that if we had a reusable system, we could reduce costs,” says Traverso. “The majority of disposable masks also have a significant environmental impact, and they take a very long time to degrade. In a time of a pandemic, there is a priority to protect people from the virus, and it certainly remains a priority, but in the longer term, we need to catch up and do the right thing, and seriously consider and minimize the risk. potential negative impact on the environment. “

Throughout the pandemic, hospitals in the United States have used different mask strategies, depending on the availability of N95 masks and access to decontamination systems. The MIT team decided to model the impacts of several different scenarios, which encompassed use patterns before and during the pandemic, including: one N95 mask per patient encounter; one N95 mask per day; reuse of N95 masks by ultraviolet decontamination; reuse of N95 masks by sterilization with hydrogen peroxide; and one surgical mask per day.

They also modeled the potential cost and waste generated by the reusable silicone mask they are currently developing, which could be used with either disposable or reusable N95 filters.

According to their analysis, if every healthcare worker in the United States used a new N95 mask for every patient encountered in the first six months of the pandemic, the total number of masks required would be around 7.4 billion, for one. cost of $ 6.4 billion. This would result in 84 million kilograms of waste (the equivalent of 252 Boeing 747s).

They also found that all reusable mask strategies would lead to a significant reduction in costs and waste generated. If every healthcare worker could reuse N95 masks that have been decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide or ultraviolet light, costs would drop to $ 1.4 billion to $ 1.7 billion over six months, and 13 to 18 million kilograms of waste would result (equivalent to 56,747s).

These numbers could potentially be further reduced with a reusable N95 silicone mask, especially if the filters were reusable as well. The researchers estimated that over six months, this type of mask could cut costs to $ 18 million and waste to 1.6 million kilograms (about 2.5747s).

“The masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so it is essential that we incorporate sustainability into their use, as well as the use of other disposable personal protective equipment that contributes to medical waste,” said Chu.

Environmental burden

The data used by the researchers for this study was collected during the first six months of the pandemic in the United States (end of March 2020 to end of September 2020). Their calculations are based on the total number of healthcare workers in the United States, the number of Covid-19 patients at the time, and the length of hospital stay per patient, among other factors. Their calculations do not include any data on the use of masks by the general public.

“We’ve focused here on healthcare workers, so it’s probably an under-representation of the total cost and environmental burden,” notes Traverso.

While vaccination has helped reduce the spread of Covid-19, Traverso believes healthcare workers will likely continue to wear masks for the foreseeable future, to protect themselves not only from Covid-19 but other respiratory illnesses as well. such as the flu.

He and others started a company called Teal Bio which is now working to refine and further test their reusable silicone mask and develop methods to mass-produce it. They plan to seek regulatory approval for the mask later this year. While cost and environmental impact are important factors to consider, the effectiveness of masks should also be a priority, says Traverso.

“At the end of the day, we want the systems to protect us, so it’s important to know whether or not the decontamination system compromises the filtering ability,” he says. “No matter what you use, you want to make sure that you are using something that is going to protect you and others.”

Source:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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Greystone provides $ 15.8 million bridge loan to

NEW YORK, July 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Greystone, a leading national commercial real estate finance company, has provided a $ 15.8 million bridge loan for the acquisition of a nursing campus, of memory and personal care in Erie, PA. . Funding was initiated by Fred Levine, Managing Director of Greystone.

The purchase of Sainte-Marie-East renowned Nightingale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, has been secured by a two-year, interest-only, short-term, variable-rate loan which Greystone will endeavor to transition to permanent funding provided by HUD. The complex comprises six buildings comprising 139 specialized nursing beds, of which 39 are dedicated to memory care residents; 131 approved personal care beds; and 91 residential housing units.

“This is the first step in the process of transitioning to the HUD and continuing our commitment to providing liquidity to healthcare providers,” said Mr. Levine.

“We see a lot of potential in the old St. Mary’s East campus, in part due to the large number of private rooms for residents,” said Dov Braun, principal borrower. “Implementing our operational plans and enhanced resident care programs to continue and strengthen Saint Mary’s reputation for exceptional resident care is our priority. “

About Greystone
Greystone is a national private commercial real estate finance company with an established reputation as a leader in multi-family and healthcare finance, having been ranked among the top lenders by FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in these sectors. Loans are offered by Greystone Servicing Company LLC, Greystone Funding Company LLC and / or other companies affiliated with Greystone. For more information, visit www.greystone.com.

PRESS CONTACT:
Karen marotta
Gray stone
212-896-9149
[email protected]


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Mercer Hill luxury retirement community takes inspiration from downtown Doylestown

The Township of Doylestown has a new art studio, cinema, music conservatory, pub, lounge and steak house.

To participate, you must be 62 years of age or older.

the Mercer Hill in Doylestown promises a luxury retreat by living in a sprawling neighborhood designed to resemble Doylestown’s Main Street.

Across the United States, operator Merrill Garden is building communities of seniors that may be more like hotels for business travelers.

The most recent development of Merrill Garden began in July 2019 off South Easton Road in the township. This community of 164 units will also have a general store, post office, outdoor patio and fire pit, lavender field and horse.

Mercer Hill in Doylestown, a 164-unit retirement home, will open in November.  The facility will offer on-site amenities to its residents including a movie theater, general store and pub in an interior setting inspired by Main Street.

The developers are playing on a rapidly growing population of retirees who want more than a good game of bingo.

By 2050, one in five Americans could be 65 and over, according to the U.S. census. Currently, some 811,000 Americans live in about 28,000 elderly communities in the United States, estimates the CDC.

In Pennsylvania, 64% of senior residents are 86 and older and 40% have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, according to the National Center for Assisted Living.

Mercer Hill’s first tenants in Doylestown could move in by November, property manager Deb Bodnar said.

A model studio at Mercer's in Doylestown. [MICHELE HADDON / PHOTOJOURNALIST]

The retirement home boasts of its proximity to Doylestown’s shops and restaurants and local architecture. Community cinema is inspired by that of Doylestown County theater, and the activity center designed to resemble Joseph Ambler Inn. The pub in the retirement home will look like the Doylestown Inn, a doctor’s office is modeled on the Court Street Borough Hotel, and the outside of the living room will look like Paper Unicorn Shop on the main street.

Mercer Hill said the campus would cater to those seeking independent living, assisted living, and a memory care section will be limited to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Independent living starts at $ 2,750 per month and includes three meals a day, weekly housekeeping, basic cable, and community activities. Personal care starts at $ 4,800 per month. Memory care ranges from $ 5,000 to $ 7,475.

In memory care, you don’t just deal with dementia, but also anxiety and depression, ”Bodnar said. “We will create safe spaces. So you can do it on the walking trail. You can engage in activities and we will have reminiscence activities. “


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The Honest Company Announces New Sustainable Beauty Packaging Initiative | Business

LOS ANGELES – (BUSINESS WIRE) – July 19, 2021–

The Honest Company (NASDAQ: HNST), a mission-driven brand focused on leading the Clean, Conscious Lifestyle movement, today announced a new sustainable packaging initiative for Honest beauty Containing 100% recyclable cartons using 100% tree-free paper made from recycled sugar cane by-products. As part of the beauty revival, Honest is also launching the Daily Defense Collection, a new line of skincare products designed to defend the skin against environmental aggressions.

This press release features multimedia. See the full version here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210719005700/en/

The Honest Company is launching the new Daily Defense collection as part of the company’s new sustainable packaging initiative for Honest Beauty. (Photo: Business Wire)

In this effort, over 100 SKUs have been updated to take advantage of post-consumer recycled materials as part of The Honest Company’s own-brand, conscious and cultural branding initiative. Honest Beauty products will now include treeless packaging down the line with updates to the primary packaging to use more environmentally friendly materials including glass dropper, aluminum tubing, compacts tin, PCR materials and mono-material components where possible for easier recycling.

“From day one we have placed the highest importance on product efficacy, formula integrity and ingredient quality – packaging is the next step in our journey of continuous improvement” , said Jessica Alba, Founder and Creative Director, The Honest Company. “As a pioneer of clean beauty, I have no doubts that we are able to raise the level of the industry as a whole and demonstrate what is possible to achieve at scale while continuing to fulfill our mission to inspire everyone to love living consciously. “

In addition to the refreshed look and feel, the new Honest skin care line, the Daily Defense Collection, helps defend against environmental stresses and combat the effects of pollutants. These four new products launched with the range are formulated with Sea Concentrate, which is rich in zinc and iron to provide essential minerals to the skin.

Daily Defense Collectionfour minutes to protect your skin

  • Step One – Skin Sweep Exfoliating Powder Cleanser: Made with Honest® Sea Concentrate and Kaolin Clay to help gently wash and exfoliate debris, impurities and buildup. ($ 21.99)
  • Second step – Purifying toner for pollution solution: A gentle daily tonic that eliminates impurities and reduces sebum while providing essential minerals to the skin. Formulated with PCA Zinc to help reduce surface oil and a microalgae extract to help fight the stressors of aging. ($ 17.99)
  • Step Three – Save the facial protection fixative spray: A lightweight shield that sets, helps extend wear and improves the look of makeup. Formulated with an extremolyte, it also helps defend against environmental stressors like UV and blue light. ($ 21.99)
  • Fourth step – Self-defense mineral solar fluid SPF 43: Consciously designed to be reef-friendly, this universal broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen helps protect against environmental elements such as UVA, UVB and blue light, and helps defend against pollution that contributes to premature skin aging. Formulated with an extremolyte to help defend against environmental aggressions. ($ 29.99)

“We strive to create formulas with carefully selected ingredients to help protect our natural resources and the ecosystems that depend on these resources,” said Don Frey, chief innovation officer, The Honest Company. “Our sustainable development mission begins with the practices that we implement in our own laboratory and in our formulas. It is not enough to ask yourself to practice sustainability without doing it ourselves first. This is why we have ensured that all of our beauty products have formulas and packaging designed with respect for the environment.

The Honest Company’s renewed beauty brand initiative, including the Daily Defense collection, will begin rolling out today, July 19, in-store at our retail partners and on The Honest’s website. Company at the address www.honest.com. You can also participate in the clean and socially aware conversation with @honest on Twitter and Instagram and www.facebook.com/thehonestcompany.

As part of the sustainable packaging initiative, Honest will be tracking the impact of using treeless cartons on a quarterly basis on its website. To learn more about Honest’s sustainability initiatives, visit https://www.honest.com/sustainability.

About honest company

The Honest Company (NASDAQ: HNST) is a digitally native, mission-driven, leadership-driven brand of the Clean Lifestyle movement, creating a community for conscious consumers seeking to disrupt multiple categories of consumer products. Since its launch in 2012, Honest has been committed to creating carefully formulated, safe and effective personal care, beauty, baby and household products available through honest.com, third-party e-commerce partners, and approximately 32,000 points of sale in the United States, Canada and Europe. Based in Los Angeles, California, the company’s mission, to inspire everyone to love living consciously, is driven by its values ​​of transparency, trust, sustainability and a deep sense of purpose around this. that matters most to its consumers: their health, their families and their homes. For more information on Honest Standard and the company, please visit www.honest.com.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210719005700/en/

CONTACT: Brenna Israel Mast

[email protected]

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WOMEN ENVIRONMENT PACKAGING CONSUMPTION FASHION COSMETICS MANUFACTURING TRADE RETAIL

SOURCE: The Honest Company

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 07/19/2021 13:26 / DISC: 07/19/2021 13:27

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210719005700/en

Copyright Business Wire 2021.


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Special Needs Dentist Grand Prairie Dallas TX Updates

Grand Prairie, Texas, United States, July 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – – July 18, 2021 / PressCable / –

Disability Dental, specialist oral health experts based in Grand Prairie, TX, have launched updated services for patients with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome. The launch expands the company’s dental specialties to residents of Arlington, Irving, Duncanville, Carrollton, Cedar Hill and the wider Dallas-Fort Worth area.

More details can be found in recent media coverage here https://finance.yahoo.com/news/disabilities-special-needs-dentist-duncanville-054500702.html

The recently updated services cover a full range of dental treatments, including preventive, restorative, general examination and sedation procedures for patients with special needs.

According to MedAlertHelp, approximately one billion people around the world live with some form of disability. Some patients with physical disabilities may find it difficult to attend standard surgery, while those with psychological disorders may experience increased anxiety and be less able to understand and cooperate with treatment.

Dental Disability advocates regular check-ups to ensure optimal dental health, stopping the spread of plaque and decay before they become more serious problems. The clinic offers personalized and dedicated care, adapted to the needs of each client. The team coordinates with caregivers to ensure that every aspect of a patient’s condition is considered in the treatment plan. More information here https://apnews.com/press-release/MarketersMEDIA/business-health-0a817e06966fb1c0973b50c0a8132e92

The clinic is able to receive disabled patients from 13 years old. The team brings a combined experience of over 50 years in the dental field of people with disabilities, equipping them to face the most difficult behaviors.

Clients can also benefit from the clinic’s range of restorative dentistry procedures. These include repairing or replacing missing teeth using dentures, partial dentures, and fixed bridges.

Disability Dental provides state-of-the-art service for patients. With state-of-the-art digital equipment, including digital panoramic radiographs that minimize radiation, clients can benefit from the latest advances in dental technology.

Led by Dr. Frank E. Ford, who has provided specialist dental care in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over 25 years, Disability Dental is a dedicated team of like-minded professionals committed to ensuring that patients of the region receive tailor-made treatment. care programs they need.

A spokesperson said: “Our comprehensive dental services enable patients with special needs to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We offer a gentle, chairside approach, even when it is difficult to work with a patient. “

With the launch of their updated treatments for patients with special needs, Disability Dental continues to make high quality dental care accessible to the most vulnerable members of society.

For more information, please visit https://www.disabilitydental.com


        


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Specialty chemicals maker Rossari to acquire Tristar Intermediates for ₹ 120 cr

MUMBAI :

Bombay: Rossari Biotech Ltd, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, announced Sunday that its board of directors has approved the acquisition of Tristar Intermediates Pvt. Ltd, the company said in a statement.

According to the agreement and subject to the usual closing conditions, Rossari will acquire 100% of the share capital of Tristar Intermediates. Seventy-six percent of the share capital will be acquired upon closing of the transaction, and the balance 24% over the next three years. The total enterprise value of the transaction is 120 crores.

Rossari plans to fund the investment in cash on its balance sheet and does not intend to incur debt for the acquisition, the statement said.

“The transaction brings together two companies with strong potential in the field of specialty chemicals. The mix of capabilities will add scale, provide cross-selling opportunities and accelerate Rossari’s growth, while significantly improving long-term value creation. The synergistic acquisition provides Rossari with an enhanced product portfolio, a stronger presence in new and untapped international markets and access to new technologies, ”the statement said.

The promoters of Tristar will continue to run the company for at least the next three years.

Tristar Intermediates, established in 1998, specializes in the manufacture of preservatives, aromatic chemicals and additives for the home and personal care. Based in Thane, Maharashtra, Tristar Intermediates is a preferred supplier to various reputable companies and multinationals in India, Europe, United States and countries of the Far East. Although it has a strong presence in the personal care and home care segments, the company’s wide product line also has applications in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, paints, automotive. , agrochemicals and others. Tristar Intermediates has manufacturing facilities in Sarigam (Vapi), Gujarat, with a total capacity of 15,000 MTPA.

In fiscal year 21, Tristar Intermediate sales amounted to 110.5 crore, with an Ebitda of 15.6 crore, Ebitda margins at 14.1% and PAT at 10.4 crores. In FY21, the personal care segment contributed 60% of revenue, and exports accounted for 53% of revenue.

“The combined capabilities will provide strong growth momentum and allow us to further expand into high potential product categories of personal care and home care, among others. The addition of new international markets, cross-selling opportunities, talent and technological know-how will also boost business efficiency, ”said Edward Menezes, promoter and executive chairman, and Sunil Chari, promoter and general manager by Rossari Biotech.

Based in Mumbai, Rossari operates two manufacturing plants in Silvassa and Dahej. The company offers tailor-made solutions for the home, personal care and performance chemicals, specialty textile chemicals, and animal health and nutrition.

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Direct care crisis ‘will explode’ without immediate government support, warns PHI

From low wages to a lack of career advancement opportunities, there are a number of issues plaguing the healthcare workforce.

Under the current presidential administration, however, it is possible to re-examine the state of the caregiver workforce and implement several changes that could improve the profession, thereby ensuring care for the elderly.

PHI, a New York-based direct care workers’ rights organization, has proposed nearly 50 federal policy recommendations as part of a new report published Wednesday. The recommendations are directed to the White House, Congress and various government agencies.

“Our country is at a critical juncture regarding this workforce,” Robert Espinoza, vice president of policy at PHI, told Home Health Care News. “The pandemic has reinforced the enormous worth of these workers, the challenges they continue to face and how these issues endanger the lives of workers and the people they support.”

Overall, there are approximately 4.6 million direct care workers in the United States. Usually this includes orderlies, home health aides and nursing assistants.

More and more seniors rely on caregivers to stay independent at home. When you consider the aging population, about 70% of people have serious long-term service and support needs, according to the Global Coalition on Aging.

Despite the increased need for caregivers, almost half of workers live in or near poverty.

In fact, the median salary for caregivers is comparatively lower than the median salary for other jobs with similar entry requirements, such as janitors, retail salespeople and customer service representatives, according to PHI.

This helps keep people off the field, making it difficult for home care providers to recruit and retain caregivers.

“We hope that a new presidential administration which has already presented an ambitious plan to increase the wages of home care workers will continue to advance measures that address the many problems facing this workforce,” said Espinoza.

As part of its report, PHI calls on Congress to enact and fund legislation that would establish a federal social insurance program in long-term care and fund states to improve their home and community service infrastructure ( HCBS).

Other long-term care funding efforts include: supporting alternative funding models, reforming Medicaid, and creating an “HCBS Workforce Plan” that defines the costs of supporting workers in the long term. Home Care.

The report also recommends measures that would implement a national strategy to improve the salaries and benefits of carers, promote financial support programs and finance the creation of state or regional public authorities to improve the quality of employment. .

In terms of a national compensation strategy, PHI suggests that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Administration for Community Living, the US Health Resources and Services Administration, and the US Department of Labor should collaborate on a plan that meets the workforce concerns. . This includes developing specific recommendations on state Medicaid rates to ensure competitive salaries and benefits.

PHI also suggests establishing a national competency-based training standard. In addition, CMS should create minimum federal training standards for nursing assistants, the advocacy organization believes.

“One recommendation that emerges from the report is that various federal agencies work with stakeholders on the ground to establish a national standard for direct care skills that applies to all members of this workforce, which would improve the quality and consistency of training in these workers, ”Espinoza told HHCN.

Additionally, PHI highlighted various recommendations regarding career advancement opportunities for caregivers, data collection and monitoring for this employment sector, as well as leadership opportunities for caregivers.

Looking ahead, there will be dire consequences if the United States is unable to move forward on some of the PHI recommendations, Espinoza warned.

“If the federal government does not immediately prioritize this workforce, the direct care crisis will explode – millions of workers will continue to suffer financially, employers will not be able to fill the 7.4 million jobs. jobs in direct care that our research estimates will occur between 2019 and 2029, and older people and people with disabilities will not receive the care they deserve, ”he said.


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Medline and InComm Payments Team to Streamline OTC

Healthcare company Medline and payment technology company InComm Payments are teaming up to improve the experience of managed health plan members purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) products, according to a Press release.

The partnership will focus on creating more flexible ways to pay for over-the-counter items, such as first aid, home diagnostics, personal care, medication and bath safety, the release said. Health plan members can use a preloaded OTC Network card to purchase products covered by their insurance plan. Members will be able to pay through the Medline e-commerce home site, in person in stores or over the phone.

Pat Twohig, vice president of Medline Homecare and Managed Care, said in the statement that the partnership aims to make healthcare easier.

“We are seeing that health insurance providers are putting more emphasis on going beyond a transactional relationship with their members and implementing programs that retain consumers,” he said. stated in the press release. “By partnering with an innovative technology company like InComm Payments, we can enable health plan members to get their products faster and create a positive experience that helps insurers continue to grow their membership base.

Executive Vice President of InComm Payments Brian parlotto said in the statement, “Our OTC network continues to gain popularity among health plan members, who appreciate the ease with which they can receive and spend their benefit money, and among health plans, which see reduced health care costs through better results for members. By partnering with Medline, we are increasing the efficiency and convenience with which Medicare members can access the health products that keep them healthy and happy in the short and long term.

In related news, InComm announced a partnership with Flexa earlier this month, to make merchants more accepting of digital currency. Those who were already logged into InComm will be able to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“As digital currencies gain popularity and rapidly gain adoption by consumers, it is essential for retailers to follow a wide range of payment options,” InComm Payments President Stefan Happ said at the time.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: STUDY PUTTING LOYALTY AT THE SERVICE OF SMALL BUSINESS – UNITED KINGDOM EDITION

About the study: UK consumers see local purchases as essential for both supporting the economy and preserving the environment, but many local High Street businesses are struggling to get them in. In the new Making Loyalty Work For Small Businesses study, PYMNTS surveys 1,115 UK consumers to find out how offering personalized loyalty programs can help engage new High Street shoppers.


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State Department of Health reports 3 days total of 547 new cases, 13 more deaths – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports a three-day total of 547 new coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths.

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That brings the statewide total to 1,214,320 cases and 27,750 COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

There are 267 people across the state in hospital with COVID-19, and 58 patients are in intensive care.

The state reports that 11,332,589 total doses of vaccine have been administered and 5,560,626 people are fully immunized. So far, 61.2% of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated.

All Pennsylvanians 16 years of age or older are eligible for the vaccine, and eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine was extended to children ages 12 to 15 on May 10.

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If you have any concerns about the virus, you can consult the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard

To date, 4,818,287 people have tested negative for COVID-19.

There were 72,102 cases among residents and 15,571 cases among employees of licensed nursing and personal care homes statewide. Of all the total deaths, 13,367 occurred in residents of nursing or personal care facilities.

The state also reports that 29,071 healthcare workers were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic.

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More information on the coronavirus pandemic:


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