Measures Adopted by Public Health Agencies to Mitigate the Consequences of COVID-19

The number of people infected by COVID-19 worldwide is quickly moving toward 2 million and almost 33% of them are from the U.S. The circumstance is past dreary and administrative bodies in the U.S. are acting rapidly to contain the harm coming about because of the spread of this novel infection.

Starting with the entry restrictions, federal agencies and healthcare regulatory bodies have executed a few measures to ensure the wellbeing and interests of healthcare professionals, program planners, manufacturers, distributors and the overall population. 

Flexibility and waivers granted to healthcare stakeholders  

The new rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) state that healthcare providers will be permitted to manage increased patient volumes by utilizing remote triage capabilities. Suspected infected persons who have developed mild to moderate symptoms would be directed to designated inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and specially outfitted hotels and dormitories. This way, healthcare professionals will be able to better attend patients in critical conditions while ensuring all the protocols issued to contain the infection are maintained and personal protective equipment is conserved.

To manage the dearth of healthcare professionals against the growing patient volumes, local physicians and providers are also being encouraged to contribute to healthcare services. Certain rules also have been relaxed to make that happen. The new rule also states that physicians will receive resources to provide telehealth services along with other motivational perks such as childcare services and meals.

For a certain period of time, CMS has issued some relief to healthcare providers from some administrative requirements. Healthcare professionals are working day in, day out, relentlessly, under immense pressure. The temporary flexibilities offered should provide some respite from organizational and regulatory requirements to healthcare providers.

Solution for the shortage of medical supplies

Currently, there is an acute lack of ventilators in the US healthcare system, which is necessary to treat the critically ill, infected patients. Unless a new supply source is discovered, the ventilator supply will dry up soon. In that case, adding new ventilators would become very expensive. It will cost an additional $12000 to add one ventilator. 

A private ventilator manufacturing company, Respironics Inc, has pledged to deliver 2,000 ventilators a week by May end. However, the current condition is critical and the Trump administration requires them to deliver 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. Under the Defense Production Act, Respironics has been ordered to boost its production and meet the growing demand.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also offered help to manage the ventilator shortage. The ventilators...