HLC Newsletter

Healthcare Industry Actions to Protect Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic – April 24, 2020

The Healthcare Leadership Council is comprised of leading companies from every sector of American healthcare.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be sharing examples of actions these companies are taking to protect and assist the public and combat the virus’s spread.  If you would like assistance in reaching a representative for any of these companies, please contact Kelly Fernandez at kfernandez@hlc.org.

  • AdventHealth, a major health system with 45 hospitals in nine states, is involved in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the drug sarilumab on COVID-19 patients. The medication is commonly used to treat inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The system has also set up a drive-up coronavirus testing site where individuals can be tested without requirement of a physician’s authorization and at no cost.
  • Andrea Willis, the chief medical officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has written op-eds for the state’s two largest newspapers explaining the value of telemedicine during the coronavirus pandemic. She points out in the op-ed that, from March 16 to April 14, the health plan process over 71,000 telemedicine claims compared to just 3,900 during the same period in 2019.
  • The Mayo Clinic has joined the Minnesota state government and the University of Minnesota in a breakthrough COVID-19 initiative aimed at testing all symptomatic people in the state, isolating confirmed cases, and providing new public health surveillance tools. The project will involve creating a central laboratory with the capacity to perform 35,000 tests daily.
  • Medidata, a company that develops software to facilitate clinical trials, has announced the creation of a new digital platform, myMedidata, that will include a COVID-19 symptom tracker. The tool will enable clinical plan sponsors to collect symptom information from clinical trial participants who might not be able to engage in traditional trial site visits.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech have announced they have received approval from German authorities to begin clinical trials in that country for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The companies also plan to conduct trials in the United States upon receiving regulatory approval, which is expected shortly.
  • Texas Health Resources has launched a program called Tech Connect that is enabling patients in intensive care units to see their loved ones who are unable to visit them in person. Medical professionals and hospital chaplains are being equipped with iPads to enable patients to connect with family members. A supervisor at Texas Health Plano said one patient on a ventilator couldn’t speak but swayed as his wife played him a song via Skype.