Blog

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rolled back regulations on hospitals and health care providers. Hospitals are no longer barred from treating COVID-19 patients in outpatient facilities. The feds are also freeing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents to provide more care on their own. CMS is even issuing waivers that allow hospitals to provide meals, laundry service and child care while health care personnel are working. Apparently, it takes a pandemic for policymakers to acknowledge that so...

PRI Senior Fellow in Health Care Studies Dr. Henry Miller joins PRI's Next Round podcast with an update on the fight against the coronavirus. He offers much-needed perspective on what public health officials are doing to “flatten the curve,” efforts to find vaccines and treatments, the efforts of other countries to contain the virus, when we can expect to get back to business as usual, and whether we should expect more viruses like these going forward. https://youtu.be/1FlElnaB3Ps...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for healthcare facilities in response to the COVID-19 virus including asking all U.S. healthcare facilities to “explore alternatives to face-to-face triage and visits.” The CDC has issued this recommendation to help contain the spread of the virus, protect healthcare workers from unnecessary exposure, and protect the health of patients who do not require face-to-face medical visits (particularly patients with underlying health issues including those with heart, kidney and weakened immune systems). In light...

The new coronavirus outbreak has put enormous pressure on the American health care system. In response, federal officials and private insurers have rushed to improve patient access to video consultations and other forms of virtual care. It may have taken a public health emergency to bring “telehealth” to the mainstream, but these services are nothing new. We would do well to expand our reliance on telehealth long after COVID-19 is behind us. Telehealth involves the use of technology to deliver medical care...

As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus continues to gain momentum in the United States, there is intense interest in the development of a vaccine. Several US drugmakers have begun working on a vaccine, independently or with federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health. The public is hungry for news about vaccines, and progress on their development is, at times, exaggerated. Fox Business reported: “We were able to rapidly construct our vaccine in a matter of about three hours once we had...

The federal government’s efforts to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic illustrate why we shouldn’t put our full trust in government to find a cure. After all, they badly botched the testing, costing valuable time in identifying new cases and limiting its spread. Fortunately, private-sector innovators are leading where government has underwhelmed, conducting speedy research and development into potentially life-saving cures, while providing critical support in other areas where government action was lacking. The first version of test kits from the Centers for...

Title: COVID-19 Pandemic Delaying Treatments of Hematologic Cancers By: John Schieszer Institutional restrictions due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are taking a large toll on patients with hematologic cancers. Some medical centers have canceled treatments and all centers have altered their policies and procedures. Starting in March, elective and semielective surgical procedures at most hospitals throughout the United States were put on hold, and uncertainty remains regarding when these procedures will start up again. . . . . . Because there is...

For anyone following the COVID-19 pandemic – and who isn’t? – it’s evident that we’re awash in punditry, speculation, and modeling. But we two are Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, and we’re looking past the noise to what critical data we don’t yet have that will affect the management of the outbreak – which will, in turn, affect both public health and our economic recovery. On the medical front, let’s consider what we do know. First and foremost, the situation in the...

Private pharmaceutical companies and the National Institutes of Health have outdone themselves. Thanks to the funding provided by the NIH, a Phase 1 clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine  is underway. In separate efforts, Inovio, Sanofi, Vaxart, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson are all developing potential vaccines. In total, “about 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals. The first of these – produced by Boston-based...

As scientists race to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, Democrats in Congress have renewed their push for price controls on drugs designed to protect us from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, along with other illnesses. The Democrats claim many Americans will only be able to afford the therapies that emerge if the government caps their prices. But price controls are a counterproductive way to bring down the cost of vaccines and drugs to treat diseases. They'd not only result in shortages...

PRI's Dr. Henry Miller talks to Lars Larson on the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show about the new timeline to remove the shelter in place orders as well as estimates in the United States and United Kingdom about the actual infection rate of the coronavirus. Dr. Miller is a former U.S. FDA official and is a senior fellow with PRI focuses on science, technology, and medicine. Dr. Miller's segment beings at the 48 minute mark. ...

Optimism is in short supply as the coronavirus pandemic grows deadlier by the day. COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives around the world and upended nearly every aspect of daily life. But there is at least one bright spot in this global public health emergency. That's the astounding speed with which private firms have begun tackling the problem. While federal regulators have exacerbated the crisis at seemingly every turn, private firms have rolled out promising new therapies and technologies that could...

As the United States ramps up rapid testing for the coronavirus, the results will surely show a sharp uptick in the number of cases of coronavirus-caused COVID-19. Those tested will learn whether they are infected, but, paradoxically, the public – and public health officials – will not know whether the overall results are encouraging or discouraging, because the rates of the coronavirus infectivity and mortality will remain poorly understood. The existing tests will not identify the potentially large numbers of people who were...