Posts for COVID-19

Sens. Warnock, Ossoff & Baldwin Want to Close the Medicaid Gap, Congress Must Act

This week Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock released a legislative proposal with senators Ossoff and Baldwin to close the Medicaid coverage gap in states that have yet to adopt Medicaid expansion.

Doggett Kicks off Legislative Efforts to Close the Medicaid Gap

We commend Rep. Doggett for his commitment to closing the Medicaid coverage gap, but we believe that this proposal could present challenges to the implementation of Medicaid expansion and leave consumers confused about who is covered.

Hospital Billing and Financial Practices: “First Do No Harm”

Hospitals Should Make Certain Their Policies Do Not Burden Community Residents or Employees   The doctrine, First Do No Harm, is a fundamental health care principle. It guides providers as they consider the possible harm that might result from their actions or interventions. At this time when...

Possibilities On the Horizon: State Pathways to Health Care for Undocumented Communities

As we continue to wait and see what may happen on the federal level with legislative proposals such as the HEAL Act, states have stepped in to provide immigrant residents access to care.

Spotlight on Federal Funds to Boost Mental Health Services

This blog is the second in a three-part series on targeting newly approved federal funds for substance use disorders and mental illness to areas of greatest need.

The American Jobs Plan Includes Important Steps Forward for Home and Community-Based Services

Within the American Families Plan is $400 billion to improve HCBS and extend Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person program that allows people with disabilities to live independently and older adults to age in place.

2021 Black Maternal Health Week: New Opportunities to Take Action!

This week (April 11-17) marks Black Maternal Health Week, an annual event dedicated to highlighting the alarming statistics around Black maternal health and calling for policies that center birth and reproductive justice.

Top Five Things to Ensure the Success of the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act funding is an exciting opportunity to advance health equity and racial justice, specifically by investing in communities.

Targeting New Federal Funds for Substance Use Disorders to Areas of Greatest Need

The federal government is finally giving states the funding they need to address massive gaps in substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services – and not limiting the funding to addressing opioids only.

It’s Far Past Time: New Medicaid Federal Funding Renews Urgency in Non-Expansion States

Medicaid expansion is an urgent issue of health and racial justice. If all 12 of the remaining states expand, 4 million more Americans will be eligible for health coverage, 60 percent of whom are people of color.

Making Race, Ethnicity and Language (REL) Data a REaLity

Since taking office, President Bident has signed a flurry of executive orders (EOs) that make concrete policy change and jumpstart the Biden-Harris Administration agenda committed to driving more equity into systems and policies.

Federal Action is Critical to Protect Consumers from Medical Debt

As Congress presses ahead on crafting its COVID-19 relief package, one of the issues they should address is the growing problem of medical debt. Medical debt is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy and has caused irreparable harm...

Uniting Health Equity and Vaccinations: Considerations for Working with Black Populations

In the 23 states that collect demographics about vaccine recipients, white residents are getting vaccinated at higher rates than Black residents. In order to change these inequities, vaccination rollout must have a health equity lens.

Oral Health Providers Could Accelerate Vaccine Distribution

As a recent article in The New York Times highlighted, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the delivery of oral health care across the United States.

New Opportunity to Enroll in Health Insurance In 2021

On Thursday, January 28, President Biden signed several executive orders intended to boost Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care, including by strenghtening the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.

Building Sustainable Fundraising Strategies During the COVID Era

At the Center, we are committed to helping advocates in finding sustainable funding for their goals. We work continually with our partners to grow their fundraising capacity through our Technical Assistance (TA).

New Year, Newly Improved Medicaid Program – NEMT Strengthened in Year-End Omnibus/Relief Bill

The year-end omnibus appropriations/COVID-19 relief funding bill has come under a lot of scrutiny for being too little, too late. However, there is one silver lining that the health care advocacy community is excited about – the codification of non-emergency...

Eldercare Voices, COVID Edition: Rhode Island Organizing Project

The Rhode Island Organizing Project (RIOP) has been engaged in community organizing since 1993. Ray Gagne is executive director of RIOP and Marjorie Waters is a longtime community organizer with the organization.

COVID-19 Tooth Loss and Oral Health Complications Underscore Importance of Maintaining, Expanding Coverage

COVID-19 can weaken the circulatory system and cause inflammation, both of which have an effect on oral health outcomes.

Eldercare Voices, COVID Edition: Sherman Pines

Eldercare Voices is an occasional feature of the Center’s monthly newsletter, Health Innovation Highlights, inviting guest commentators directly involved in care delivery or support to older adults to share their perspectives from the field. This post is part of a...

The Urgent Need for Extension of Emergency Protections to Housing Security and Access to Medicaid Coverage

As we near the end of the year and face the holidays during a surging pandemic, many people will struggle with isolation and sadness at being away from loved ones. Additionally, COVID-19 has unleashed a series of crises that are...

Eldercare Voices, COVID Edition: Gwendolyn Graddy, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Dr. Graddy is currently the Chief Medical Officer for PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Southeast Michigan.

How the #SickofItTX Campaign is Building Power & Fighting for Texans’ Health

Texas has the nation’s worst uninsured rate, with more than five million Texans uninsured, but state lawmakers consistently refuse to take any meaningful action to ensure all Texans can access affordable health insurance coverage.

We Can Keep Building: Advocacy and Organizing in the Midst of a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that in times of crisis, advocacy built on strong grassroots support and consumer participation can still serve as a mechanism to push all our systems to be more responsive to the needs of the community.

Eldercare Voices, COVID Edition: Nancy Wilson, MSW

Nancy is a gerontological social worker with over four decades of professional work and leadership in advancing interdisciplinary models of integrated community-based service delivery to elders and families coping with chronic illness.

Waiving Goodbye to Better Health Care Access Amidst a Global Pandemic

Yesterday, the Trump administration approved one of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s two waiver applications and is on track to approve the other in the coming days. Both are likely to present challenges to the way Georgians access their health care.

Alone but Resilient: What We’re Learning About Social Isolation Among Older Adults Amidst the Pandemic

Even before the pandemic began, social isolation and loneliness were widespread among older adults. Approximately one-quarter of community-dwelling Americans aged 65 and older were considered to be socially isolated.

House Democrats Have a Plan for COVID-19 Relief (Again). Will the Senate Step Up?

House Democrats have made another effort to enact a meaningful coronavirus relief package to address the severe economic and health care challenges posed by the pandemic. To appease Senate Republicans’ concerns over the cost of their original coronavirus relief package...

Improving Addiction Services During COVID and Beyond: Take Our National Survey

Community Catalyst’s Substance Use Disorders team just launched a national online survey to increase the voice of people with substance use challenges and people in recovery in improving the system.

As Families Grapple with Schooling Stresses, Congress Must Act

The dual task of creating healthy spaces for teachers and students while also delivering high-quality educational content is a resource-intensive task and without additional, equitably distributed support, will ultimately fail those who are most at-risk.

New CMS Data Highlights Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults and Dually Eligible Consumers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new data detailing the impact of COVID-19 on Medicare beneficiaries. As many consumers and advocates are acutely aware, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on older adults.

Providers Receiving Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds Must be Prohibited from Using Harmful Collection Practices

At this point in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more than 5,750,000 people in the United States have tested positive and there have been nearly 180,000 deaths. The pandemic has caused broad shutdowns of economic activity, resulting in more than 23...

Putting FMAP on the Map: Senate Must Follow House Democrats’ Leadership in Bolstering Medicaid

Congress is in the midst of developing a second federal relief bill in response to the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to finish the bill are being thwarted not only by partisan differences but also...

Top Three State Policy Priorities to Support Immigrants and Their Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown disproportionate impacts on low-income immigrants as many continue to be on the front lines as essential workers. Unfortunately, millions of immigrants are left out under federal relief efforts.

The Forgotten Americans: Puerto Rico Under COVID-19

While the United States experiences physical distancing under the coronavirus pandemic, the 3.2 million American citizens in Puerto Rico experience multiple types of distancing – physical, economic and political

Let’s Talk About Affordability, NOT Stripping Health Coverage From Millions

Affordability is not a new issue. Even before the pandemic, health coverage and care has been out of the reach of millions of people across the country.

Rate Review in the time of Coronavirus: This is No Time for ACA Rate Increases

The Coronavirus pandemic has unleashed significant uncertainty in the U.S., straining our health care system and the ways we finance it.

Bridging Health Equity and Racial Justice During COVID-19 and Beyond

With the inequities COVID-19 is exposing so glaringly, we are at a unique and critical moment to step up our advocacy and put in place just policies to protect our most vulnerable communities.

COVID-19 Brings New Urgency to Protecting People with Chronic Conditions

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of those with chronic conditions are unable to keep up with the routine medical care required to manage these conditions and keep them from spiraling into an acute medical crisis.

Medicaid is Ready to Serve: Fund It

The alarming numbers at which people of color, particularly Black people, are dying from COVID-19 has and should ignite a conversation about structural racism. In addition to the health care, social and economic inequities that place some at more risk...

Elevating the Needs of Medicare-Medicaid Beneficiaries in the COVID-19 Era

The coronavirus pandemic poses exceptional risks to people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles). This population is poorer, sicker and disproportionately, from communities of color.

At Greater Risk: Food Insecurity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We have all seen the startling images: lines stretching for miles at food banks and pantries across the nation. The pandemic has only exacerbated food insecurity, especially among several vulnerable populations:

Queering the COVID Response: Access to Care and Resources for LGBTQ+ Communities

For LGBTQ+ people COVID-19 has not only introduced a new threat to health and economic security, but has also exacerbated barriers they were already facing in accessing the health care and social supports they need.

Mutual Aid and Community Care in the COVID-19 Era

I wasn’t going to wait around for lengthy grant opportunities and jump through hoops, I wanted to do something immediate. I decided to volunteer my time outside of my organization assisting with a local mutual aid effort.

COVID-19 is Leaving Home Health Workers and Consumers with Long-Term Care Needs in Jeopardy

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, home health workers find themselves in an incredibly difficult bind – how can they deliver necessary services while keeping themselves and their clients safe?

The CARES Act is Replenished. Now Let’s Develop a Package that Fully Meets the Moment

Late Tuesday afternoon, Congress reached agreement to replenish funds in the CARES Act to the tune of a $484 billion package. The major pieces of the deal include $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that provides forgivable loans...

Who Are the Most At-Risk Older Adults In the COVID-19 Era? It’s Not Just Those in Nursing Homes

Much has been written about the terrible toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on the older adult population, and in particular, those living in nursing homes. Also at high risk are many of the the nearly 7 million older adults living in the community.

Amidst The Coronavirus Pandemic, Many Immigrants Are Excluded From Federal Relief Efforts

Despite their significant contributions, many immigrant workers and their families won’t benefit from the COVID-19 relief packages Congress passed and the president signed into law in March.

Righting Historic Wrongs: An Opportunity for Southern States in the Face of COVID-19

The evidence continues to mount: for Southern states, COVID-19 will be particularly devastating.

Eldercare Voices: Older Adults and Access to Health Care During COVID-19

Taneika Duhaney, MHAP Health and Aging Policy Fellow, Community Catalyst Dental Access Project   As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, school closings are increasing, public gatherings are discouraged and public health officials continue to warn that, as testing increases,...

Reduce Jail Populations Now to Prevent Avoidable COVID-19 Tragedies

Even before COVID-19 hit the United States, there were a variety of reports on jails and prisons being "on edge" and overcrowded.

We Can’t Shut Our Eyes – Black People Are Being Infected and Dying From the Coronavirus at Alarming Rates

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has rattled our nation in great proportions. Early data shows that Black Americans face alarming rates of infection and death in states throughout the country.

A Rare COVID-19 Victory: Advocate Pressure Wins Suspension of Medicaid Work Rules in Utah

Until April 2, Utah was the last state standing with a work reporting requirement in place. It took a pandemic coupled with an economic crisis for the state to finally suspend its onerous paperwork barrier to Medicaid coverage. After federal...

We’re All in This Together: Protecting Individuals with Complex Health Needs During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to unfold, state governments, health officials and health care providers have risen to the occasion to ensure that state residents can get the critical care they need.

Put People First: Adapting Substance Use Policies and Programs in the Context of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we must take the necessary precautions to ensure our communities are able to stay safe. The general recommendations are to distance ourselves or self-quarantine to help prevent the spread, but this presents particular obstacles for...

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Exhibit A for Why Medicaid Block Grant Proposals Are Bad Policy

The coronavirus pandemic has already revealed some important lessons for us. One of the most important lessons for our country, and especially the state of Tennessee, is that our health care infrastructure matters. Public health measures, such as physical and...

Oral Health Care Access in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

As many advocates shift focus to protecting the physical, emotional, and financial health of their communities during the coronavirus pandemic, we know that the need for access to critical dental care has not gone away.

Tools to Help Advocates Reduce Social Isolation During the Coronavirus Pandemic

“Social distancing.” “Isolation.” “Quarantine.” In the ongoing life adjustments to the coronavirus pandemic, we are all being bombarded with these words on a daily basis.

Thinking Fast (Medium) and Slow About COVID-19

The rapidly unfolding health and economic disasters the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered can only be dealt with effectively via a robust public response at both the federal and state levels. Unfortunately, the Trump administration missed the opportunity to intervene early,...

Coronavirus-Related Xenophobia Against People of Asian Heritage Must Stop

All my life, I have been fortunate enough to never feel the need to question or fear how my identity is perceived by others. As a proud daughter of Asian immigrants, I have always worn my Japanese heritage on my sleeve.

House Bill’s Key COVID-19 Health Provisions Represent Important First Steps

On March 14, the House passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. Monday night, the House passed a “technical corrections” bill that slightly changed some provisions.
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