Certintell’s blog series, “Industry Insights,” takes a look at what topics are buzzing with popularity in the mHealth and care management arena for Community Health Centers (CHCs), FQHCs and other community-based organizations. Here, you can explore how legislation might affect your workflows, what statistics might be preventing better patient outcomes, and tips for pushing past your biggest care barriers. Stay on top of what CHC news you should know below! This month, explore HHS’ new health advisory related to COVID-19, CMS’ new reimbursement plan for Alzheimer’s medication, and FDA’s first draft guidance on psychedelics.
HHS Issues Advisory on Mental Health Symptoms Associated with Long COVID
On June 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an advisory cautioning providers to be more attentive to mental health symptoms that can be linked to long COVID.
HHS reports that about 10 percent of people who contract COVID-19 will experience lingering effects for months, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Social isolation, financial insecurity and grief can exacerbate these symptoms as well. Unfortunately these factors are have been extremely common happenstance during the ongoing pandemic.
Medicaid Disenrollment Happening Faster Than Expected
Since Medicaid redeterminations began April 1, 21 states in the U.S. have released the numbers on how many people have been disenrolled. As of June 14, that number totals to over 1 million people who were stripped of their health insurance, some who may not even know it.
The biggest problem lies in the latter half of the sentence. A former deputy director for Medicaid says that the entirety of the health and social services industries must be engaged in raising awareness about disenrollment and ensure people reapply within a 90 day period to see if they still qualify.
Earlier in the month, the HHS Secretary urged state governors to increase flexibilities that will minimize avoidable Medicaid coverage losses.
CMS Outlines New Reimbursement Plan for Alzheimer Meds Pending Approval
On June 22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released renewed details about how the organization plans to cover a new class of Alzheimer drugs.
While the medication is still pending full FDA approval, CMS released its coverage plan, advising that it will cover the costly drugs if the patient’s care team submit to registries and give more information about how the drugs work in the real world.
This decision comes a year after CMS’ controversial coverage plan, criticized for its strictness, for another Alzheimer drug.
If the FDA gives the drugs traditional approval, The “Monoclonal Antibodies Directed Against Amyloid for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Registry” will be available for free and nationwide on CMS’ website.
FDA Issues First Draft Guidance on Clinical Trials with Psychedelic Drugs
On June 23, the FDA issued a new draft guidance on considerations medical researchers investigating the benefits of psychedelic drugs should take into account. This is the first draft guidance of its kind to address the intersection of controlled psychedelic use and corresponding medical benefits.
The guidance is applicable to psychedelics such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) that act on the brain’s serotonin system, as well as “entactogens” or “empathogens” such as methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).
The ultimate goal of the guidance is to help those researching these drugs to design studies that effectively demonstrate results capable of supporting situational applications of these drugs.
The FDA is currently accepting public comments on the draft until mid to late August.