What Inspires Our Healthcare Workers?

Standardized COVID-19 Testing Prior to Hospital Discharge

The COVID-19 public health emergency has re-focused attention and action on the importance of care transitions within the healthcare system – and with hospitals providing their community care partners with the most up-to-date information regarding a patient’s COVID-testing status. 
In response to this challenge, MHA, in coordination with partner organizations, has created the Standardized COVID-19 Testing Recommendations Prior to Hospital Discharge.
The recommendations outline the types and frequency of testing that hospitals should be performing on patients prior to discharge, in addition to the information that hospitals should be sharing when a patient is discharged to the next level of care including: the date and type of the original test performed and the results of said test; for patients who are symptomatic, the date of illness/symptom onset; and the date and type of the most recent test performed and the results of said test. 
The recommendations are informed by the work of MHA’s Post-Acute Transitions of Care & Emergency Preparedness (PATCEP) and Case Management Workgroups. In addition to MHA acute care hospitals, post-acute care hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and state partners, the following groups participate in MHA’s PATCEP and contributed to the Standardized COVID-19 Testing Recommendations: Assisted Living Association of Massachusetts, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, Massachusetts Senior Care Association, and LeadingAge Massachusetts.
The recommended shared information has important downstream effects for community care providers including any quarantine and isolation protocols that need to be implemented or the use or discontinuation of the use of personal protective equipment. 

What Inspires Our Healthcare Workers?

Healthcare professionals have been lauded for their bravery and resilience throughout the pandemic. But what has kept them going through the most extraordinary of circumstances?
In recognition of National Hospital Week (May 9 - 15), MHA asked our members to share what inspires them as healthcare workers.
“I am inspired seeing how my nursing care can make a profound difference on patients and positively affect their wellbeing.” 
-- Anna Zhyhymont, RN, Staff Nurse, Hebrew SeniorLife
“I realized how little non-native English speakers understood diagnoses and other information about their health conditions. I wanted to help them.”
 -- Yin-Lai Tang, Interpreter, Tufts Medical Center
“I love to engage our patients and take their mind off why they’re here. They thank me not just for transport, but for the conversation.”
 -- Annmarie Balthazar, Transport Attendant, South Shore Health
 “Being able to support our healthcare teams during difficult and stressful times while also helping to support healthcare operations to ensure that patients are met with the best possible care provided.”
 -- Sean Sullivan, RN, Nurse Manager, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton
Additional testimonials will be posted on MHA’s Twitter and Facebook pages throughout the week.

Anti-Vaping Curriculum Guide to Be Distributed to Schools Beginning Today

The MA Action Coalition, of which MHA is a member, has created the Massachusetts Anti-Vaping Curriculum Resource Guide, which focuses on the effect of vaping on student health and wellness for grades 6-12. 
In 2019, the MA Action Coalition received a two-year Innovations Fund award of $25,000 from the National Campaign for Action (a partnership of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, and the AARP Foundation) to create a statewide, evidenced-based, adaptable, developmentally appropriate curriculum. The coalition worked with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and numerous school wellness committees to develop the curriculum.
According to the 2019 MA Youth Health Survey preliminary data, 51.2% of Massachusetts high school students have tried electronic vapor products, and 32% currently use these products. Nearly 15% of middle school students have tried electronic vapor products.
The MA Anti-Vaping Curriculum Resource Guide will be available and e-mailed to all public and charter schools beginning today.

Seeking Donations for India: Oxygen Support Supplies

India is now in dire need of oxygen concentrators, oximeters, empty oxygen cylinders, and Remdesivir. A team of students from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is working with leaders in India to secure donations of oxygen support supplies to hospitals there. 
To date, the team has procured and shipped to India more than 3,000 oxygen concentrators from hospital systems in the U.S. UMass Memorial Health has agreed to provide 40 oxygen concentrators; other Massachusetts hospitals are currently amassing supplies to send. 
If your organization has oxygen supplies – such as oxygen concentrators, oximeters, oxygen tanks – that you would like to donate or sell for this purpose, please reach out directly to Deepak Sahu at dsahu@hsph.harvard.edu. Please let him know which items you have, the quantity, and the price and his team will take care of the purchasing, procurement, and shipping to India and will notify you as to how the donations have been used. 

Your Vaccine: Just Walk In

Starting today, individuals will be able to walk into six mass vaccination sites across the state and get a COVID-19 vaccine – and they won’t have to book an appointment first. The six sites are: the Hynes Convention Center and Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, the former Circuit City in Dartmouth, the Natick Mall, and Springfield’s Eastfield Mall.
People can still use VaxFinder to book an appointment or to find out more details about walk-up vaccines at the six sites. As of the end of last week, more than 500 locations have open availability on VaxFinder.
In addition, CVS is now allowing for vaccine walk-ins at each of its 389 locations across the state. Health systems are also expanding their walk-in capabilities. For instance, Beth Israel Lahey Health announced last week that any individuals over the age of 18 – even if they are not a patient within the system – are welcome to get vaccinated without an appointment at their clinics in Beverly, Burlington, Cambridge and Plymouth.
According to the CDC’s vaccine data, 3.9 million people in Massachusetts have been fully or partially vaccinated as of Monday, May 3, and another 180,000 people are scheduled to get their first dose by today. While the state will meet its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents before the June 1 deadline it set, it continues to ramp up its outreach efforts to certain populations as well as the commonwealth’s 20 communities most disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

MassHealth Amendment 3

MassHealth has released an amendment to both the RY2021 Acute Hospital RFA and the RY2021 Psychiatric Hospital RFA. The amendments extend the deadline by which the Executive Office of Health and Human Services may consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for supplemental payments to be made to psychiatric and acute hospitals that have expanded their inpatient behavioral health bed capacity.
Prior RFA language established a deadline of April 30, 2021, for new beds to come online for the facility to be eligible for larger enhanced payments for each new bed. Due to consideration of extenuating circumstances that may have precluded a facility’s ability to fully operationalize new beds, MassHealth has extended the deadline for applicants in the first performance period of RY21 to June 14, 2021.

MHA Executive Insights Series-- Pediatrics, People, and the Pandemic

Wednesday, May 19; 8-8:30 a.m.

Join MHA's Executive Insights Series, which throughout 2021 will feature candid interviews of hospital leaders. 
We welcome you to pour a cup of coffee and start your day with us as we hear directly from the CEOs who help power our world-class healthcare community. 
Kevin B. Churchwell, M.D., president and CEO of Boston Children's Hospital, will join us on Wednesday, May 19 to discuss his intergenerational healthcare background, the importance of diversity and health equity initiatives, and how Boston Children's is leading the way in pediatric care. Please register here.

John LoDico, Editor