The Biden administration will expand the use of medication to treat substance use disorders to include pregnant women; oversight of the nation’s poorest-performing nursing homes will be tightened; children’s hospitals are filling up with cases of respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory diseases.
Pregnant Women Will Have Access to Addiction-Fighting Medication
According to the Biden administration, it announced that it would use federal courts and health program to increase access to medications that can help pregnant women combat substance abuse disorder. The New York Times. Pregnant mothers, who are more at risk for drug overdose than average women of child bearing age, will be able access more prescriptions that have been shown to reduce dependence on opioids. The plan is part of the administration’s greater efforts to combat the drug crisis in the nation. The new initiative designates the Justice Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Indian Health Service as responsible for improving women’s access to treatment.
Nursing Homes will be subject to more scrutiny
According to USA Today reports, the Biden administration plans that will result in poor-performing nursing homes being closed down and federal funding being terminated will lead to severe penalties and increased fines. CMS will overhaul its “special focus facility” program in nursing homes with poor safety records. Nursing homes that do not improve will have escalating penalties for violations and could lose Medicare or Medicaid funding if they have 2 or more warnings that are classified as an “immediate jeopardy.” A nursing home’s staffing level will also be considered when deciding whether to assign a nursing home to the special focus program.
Children with Respiratory Illness Fill Pediatric Hospitals
According to the Pediatric Hospitals Association, high numbers of children infected with respiratory syncytialvirus (RSV), and other respiratory viruses have led to pediatric hospitals being overcrowded. The Washington Post. The number of cases of RSV rose rapidly at the end of summer, several months before its usual season in late fall and early spring. The United States has seen approximately 5000 cases per week, which is roughly the same as 2021, but more than October 2020. Federal data shows that approximately three quarters of pediatric hospital beds are full, with many DC pediatric hospitals at capacity.