For the first time in many years, the health crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic devastated the global economy and made healthcare the front and center in the minds of every person. Truth be told, the healthcare systems across the globe were not prepared to handle such a large-scale and unpredictable health crisis that affected the whole population. If there’s any lesson to be drawn from this, it’s that ample preparation for unprecedented events, such as this health crisis, should be the bare minimum standard for the healthcare industry. Thankfully, leaders in various states in the United States are now putting in place relevant and updated measures to cope with the pandemic, as well as to strengthen their healthcare system to minimize the collateral impact should a health crisis like this ever happen in the future.
Healthcare Industry Updates in the U.S.
Let’s have a look at what major states in the U.S. are doing to strengthen the healthcare sector and their action plans in dealing with a crisis similar or even more devastating than the current pandemic.
The State of Alaska has issued four new health advisories last February 14, 2021, regarding the following:
- Safety measures Alaskans can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- International and interstate travel
- Intrastate travel
- Guidance for Critical Infrastructure businesses operating in Alaska
The recovery and transition plan was put in place to begin moving Alaska to normalcy while still effectively dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3pxsn8k
Likewise, the State of Texas is developing its healthcare resources to address and combat the pandemic. The vaccination efforts were expanded to serve more people in the community, especially the hardest-hit populations. More than 400,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived last February 15, 2021. The State is also currently prioritizing healthcare providers, such as health departments, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, community and rural clinics, and some medical practices that specialize in care for older adults.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2M0bvJM
On the other hand, California is opening community vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles to provide targeted support to areas that suffered a great deal from the coronavirus. The Governor and administration partners built the state-led and federally supported pilot community vaccination sites with the aim to “move further and faster to eradicate the devastating effects of the coronavirus.” Furthermore, the opening of four mobile vaccination clinics is to be expected, which will be deployed to multiple places in the community, thus amplifying the distribution efforts to areas that lack access to sufficient support.
According to the recent CDC data, the State of Montana continues to receive one of the lowest allotments of vaccine per person in the U.S. Despite this, the leaders of the state are also continuing to work to ensure that its people can get their fair share of vaccines. Last February 16, 2021, however, the Biden administration had announced that the Missoula County of the State of Montana will be granted vaccines through the Federally Qualified Health Center COVID-19 vaccine program.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3pw6J4B
The State of New Mexico is temporarily re-enacting a statewide “Green to Red” public health order to lower the sudden and rapid rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, as well as to relieve the strain of healthcare providers and hospitals. The public health order was set to be in effect for two weeks.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3aykeME
Arizona issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Executive Order to combat the virus last March 2020. The mandate is aimed at reducing financial burdens related to COVID-19 by decreasing healthcare costs, as well as providing healthcare officials and administrators with tools and guidance that will combat the health crisis. As of February 10, 2021, the state has reached and administered one million vaccine doses to its community.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3u8gLMF
For the State of Nevada, the Nevada State Immunization Program (NSIP) is currently working with local clinics, hospitals, and health departments to distribute vaccines. To provide information on the State’s vaccination updates, allocation, and distribution, the Nevada COVID-19 Vaccine Playbook for Statewide Operations has been developed. You can find more information on the NSIP website at https://bit.ly/3pBCMQp
The state is emphasizing the importance of securing health coverage during the “Get Covered 2021 Colorado Day.” The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing has started conducting surveys and found out that many Coloradans are without insurance due to the economic downturn, which resulted in losing employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. However, they’ve also presented health coverage alternatives, such as the Health First Colorado or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), which both offer free or low-cost coverage.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3u4Zp3r
The Oregon government is making ways for its disadvantaged or low-income Oregonians to have access to healthcare coverage. Through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), they will be helping working families, children, pregnant women, single adults, and seniors benefit from the OHP and have access to basic healthcare needs.
Learn more about the OHP here: http://bit.ly/2Nl1gR5
Beginning February 15, the State of Wyoming will be relaxing its COVID-19 protocols and health orders since coronavirus-related hospitalizations and confirmed cases are now declining. This marks the State’s progress and successful fight against the unprecedented global health crisis. Attendance limits to gatherings will be increased and sporting events, artistic performances, restaurants, and gyms will have their limited capacity increased as well.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/3udz42W
The Michigan Department of Health of Human Services (MDHHS) has recently announced a new program that will aid in enhancing the vaccine allocation, distribution, and overall equity strategy. The state aims to get 70% of Michiganders, age 16 and older, vaccinated as quickly as possible. Individuals who are most at risk of the coronavirus will be prioritized by the state.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3s6v0Qe
Minnesota has a Medical Assistance (MA) in place for residents with low income. The assistance covers a wide range of healthcare services, including doctor checkups, prescriptions, and hospital stays. Depending on your eligibility, some members of the program may have to pay a portion of the service’s cost while others may benefit from the service free of charge.
The Washington State has laid out 2021-2023 budget and policy proposals highlighting possible future public health crisis and the betterment of the public health system. Included in the proposals are investments in data infrastructure for public health, which turns shared information into actionable data that is helpful for the state. Also included are personal protective equipment, testing supplies and lab costs, contact tracing, and public health lab and epidemiology work.
Read more: http://bit.ly/3dnlynt
With the goal of “Empowering a Healthy Georgia,” the Georgia government issued new executive orders on coronavirus pandemic guidance, requiring various establishments, businesses, and events to have proper ventilation systems (this is in regards to the data indicating that increased air circulation and purification can reduce the coronavirus spread). In addition, Georgia has a State Health Benefit Plan in place to provide affordable and quality healthcare to teachers, state employees, public school employees, as well as retirees.
New York just announced last February 18, 2021, its lowest single-day coronavirus confirmed cases rate since November 23, 2020. Its 7-day average positivity rate has been declining for 41 straight days with a current statewide positivity rate of only 3.15%. Now that the numbers are decreasing, New York is able to loosen its strict protocols and increase economic activity to sustain the state. Nevertheless, New York leaders are advising its people to still continue doing preventive measures to fully overcome the global health crisis.
The State of Illinois is ensuring vaccine access to rural communities and underserved areas in Central and Southern Illinois. Currently, Illinois has launched three additional mass vaccination sites to better manage equitable distribution and allocation of the coronavirus vaccine. Moreover, the State will also be deploying additional Illinois National Guard mobile vaccination teams in Sangamon and Jackson Counties. The new vaccination sites will be able to administer 2,700 doses daily at full capacity.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3qEHpuI
Online statewide pre-registration of the coronavirus vaccine was unveiled just recently by the State of Virginia. This convenient registration system provides the Virginians easier pre-registration, confirmation of waiting list, and more information about the vaccination program. The innovative program seeks to streamline the vaccination process through a unified system that is easily accessible for its people.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3qC9DG8
Like most states nowadays, the State of Hawaii is planning and implementing a comprehensive vaccination plan to ensure availability to its residents. Hawaii is currently receiving more dosages of the COVID-19 vaccines and distributing its vaccination hubs throughout the state as fast as possible. They are also prioritizing high-risk individuals, including older adults, healthcare workers, and others at the frontlines of the crisis. Their health department is working closely with local, state, and federal government agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, healthcare centers, and other providers to distribute the vaccines rapidly and in an orderly manner.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/3qxQqWn
The State of Maryland is extending its State Health Insurance Enrollment, the Maryland Health Connection, until May 15, 2021. The extension was given to provide ample time for uninsured Maryland residents to enroll in healthcare coverage. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect many people, it is the goal of Maryland’s leaders to make health insurance accessible for eligible enrollees.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/3ublygs
Other States in the U.S.
Like the rest of the major states in the U.S., the main objective of the healthcare industry at the moment is to overcome the strain brought by COVID-19 to the healthcare workforce and the population’s health. Most mandates and state orders are focused on medical assistance, healthcare programs, access to vaccinations, and strengthening the current healthcare system. Long-term healthcare goals and budget allocations are in the works and established by most, if not all, states. Now, the healthcare industry, being at the forefront of it all, is being more meticulous with its protocols and healthcare agenda to avoid large-scale health crisis such as this.
What Will Surely Change?
The pandemic exhausted the healthcare professionals who are at the frontlines of the crisis. They’ve endured sacrifices and extreme work conditions just to tirelessly tend to COVID-19 positive patients. Furthermore, from overwhelmed hospitals to lack of healthcare resources, we have seen the immediate need for a robust healthcare system quite forcibly. As an aftermath of these experiences, things will surely change for the better in the healthcare industry. In fact, most states in the U.S. are now implementing and planning the best actions to take in overcoming the gaps in healthcare. So, we can expect to see major changes with the government putting more focus on healthcare to better handle possible future outbreaks.
The Surge in Digital Health
In connection with changes in healthcare, the COVID-19 pandemic made healthcare consumers unable and unwilling to leave their homes. Thus, the rapid rise of digital healthcare, such as telehealth and telemedicine. For this reason, healthcare providers rushed to provide remote services to their clients, which also provided clients with a higher level of convenience.
If you’re a healthcare provider, know that digital healthcare is most likely here to stay in the years to come. Most clients will now prefer virtual consultation over in-person checkups to prioritize their safety and convenience. So, why not venture into digital health? If you already have a website or just starting to create one, Proweaver can help you get started. We’ve helped countless healthcare providers with their digital ventures. Let us know if you need our assistance by dialing +1 (800) 988-3769.