Complexities of COVID-19 manufacturing

Getting from a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to scaling to manufacture these vaccines for billions of people is far from simple: Manufacturing mRNA vaccines for the first time in a very short timeframe required significant innovation and remains a technically challenging endeavor. The process proved to be technically challenging as Pfizer developed a 50,000 step process.…

COVID-19 in California: An update

A few updates on COVID-19 from where I am living. First while we see a dramatic decline in COVID-19 infections and deaths, there is a fair amount of regional variation within California. The Sacramento Bee reports that: The average number of new COVID infections reported each day dropped by an astounding 98% from December to…

Impact of COVID-19 on CMS’ value-based programs

Many Medicare payment initiatives aim to link reimbursement to value. Value includes both cost and quality of care. However, measuring quality of care during a pandemic is problematic. Further, most of CMS’ value-based purchasing programs–such as Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) and the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program all…

COVID-19’s collateral deaths

People are not just dying from COVID, but the quarantine’s–while necessary–did exacerbate mental health issues for many individuals. This is especially true for individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia. This American Life‘s had a recent episode showing how isolation likely accelerated the downward spiral of the narrator’s grandmother, who suffered from dementia. The Alzheimer’s…