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COVID-19 Weekly Recap – May 29th, 2020

By California Chronic Care Coalition

May 29, 2020

Cases in the U.S.

Total Cases

1,719,827

Total Deaths

101,711

COVID-19 In California By The Numbers

Upcoming Webinar: “How a New Federal Rule will Increase Prescription Drug Costs for Patients”

When: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. PST

Register Now

Join the Chronic Care Policy Alliance as we discuss how a federal policy change will leave many patients facing higher out-of-pocket costs for their prescription medications. The recently released 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) allows private health insurers to exclude certain co-pay assistance programs, such as cards and coupons, from counting toward deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. As a result, patients will no longer be able to rely on these critical programs and face increased costs.

Federal health policy and advocacy expert Carl Schmid, Executive Director of the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute, will provide an overview of the NBPP rule change and key insights into the impact it will have on patients with chronic disease. During the webinar, we will discuss ways to blunt the impact and provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to advocate on behalf of patients in the chronic disease community.

Tune in to learn more about:

  • The vital importance of co-pay assistance to keep medications affordable
  • Co-pay accumulators and how they work
  • Why this change to the NBPP is harmful for patients
  • What CCPA is doing to advocate for patient rights and patient access
  • How your organization can help keep prescription medicine affordable

Statement on CMS Lowering Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs for Seniors

Liz Helms, President and CEO of the California Chronic Care Coalition, issued a reaction to CMS lowering out-of-pocket insulin costs for seniors.

She says “While we have a long way to go, this is a tremendous step in the right direction. We must continue to advocate for access to treatment for all patients.”

Read the full statement here

Latest Updates on Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 Response

Here’s a recap on the state’s updates:

  • The Governor announced the launch of CaliforniaConnected.ca.gov, the state’s new contact tracing and public awareness program. Public health employees will be working with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 determining who they have come into contact with and ensuring they have access to medical care and other essential services to prevent further spread and improve outcomes. People who have come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will receive a call and be informed of next steps.
  • As part of the Economic Recovery Listening Tour, Governor Newsom hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with Californians in the fitness industry on what recovery and reopening could look like during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.
  • The state is moving forward in reopening various industries based on county and statewide preparedness.
  • California Department of Public Health announced a statewide reopening of places of worship and retail shopping, given certain modifications are followed, including limiting attendance to 25% of capacity or up to 100 individuals. Read More
  • Approved counties can begin to reopen hair salons and barber shops with modifications including both stylist and client wearing a face mask for the entirety of services. Read More
  • California’s Senate is rejecting many of the cuts in Newsom’s proposed budget especially to public health programs instead supporting plans to delay billions in payments to schools and taking money from reserves.
  • Important resources and websites to bookmark:

Nonprofits and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the proposed state budget cuts will have trickle-down effects on California’s nonprofits in all sectors. In response, California Association of Nonprofits is hosting Nonprofit Town Halls with state legislators. You can find more information here. Additionally, over 1,100 nonprofits, including the CCCC, and 30 legislators have signed onto letters to California’s leadership.

Webinar: “Conquering Insurance Challenges: Finding New Coverage & Overcoming Denials”

Last week, Hemophilia Council of California hosted a webinar, “Conquering Insurance Challenges: Finding New Coverage & Overcoming Denials” with presenters Kelly Bradfield, External Affairs, Covered California and Liz Helms, President/CEO, California Chronic Care Coalition. The webinar provided an overview of what those who have lost health insurance can do to get coverage, including utilizing Covered California and My Patient Rights to help. If you missed the webinar live, a recording can be found here.

Lack of Money, Mandates Delay COVID Tests in Nursing Homes

Source: KCRA

(Source: KCRA) A lack of money and government mandates has led to widespread delays and disparities in testing the country’s 1.4 million nursing home residents for COVID-19, allowing the virus to spread largely unchecked and kill tens of thousands of older adults, residents, staff and health care advocates tell the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit. Read More

CDC Guidance for Reopening

As the country continues to reopen, the CDC has released guidance and best practices for various industries and settings to be able to safely operate during COVID-19. You can view updated CDC guidance here.