April 3, 2020
The COVID-19 public health crisis continues to heighten anxieties for individuals and families across the globe. The health care industry’s frontline employees are working day and night to address these concerns while also battling a dwindling supply of critical personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Alliance of Community Health Plans’ (ACHP) nonprofit, community-based health organizations have quickly jumped into action, developing new and effective ways of protecting individuals against the virus. For example:
- Geisinger Health Plan in Danville, PA, developed two new forms of protective equipment for its medical facility workers and in five days began deploying intubation shields to its hospitals and ambulances
- Group Health Cooperative of South-Central Wisconsin developed a desktop droplet barrier made out of everyday items to help protect staff and reduce the risk of infection
- Henry Ford Health System researchers are developing a sterilization protocol for masks, which has the potential to help ease the national shortage of these critical items
In addition to these efforts, ACHP member plans have pledged to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, including it as a covered benefit to remove cost as a potential barrier. Many plans have waived cost-sharing for some or all treatment as well.
ACHP members are nimbly innovating to stem the spread of the virus. These unique efforts are aiding in testing, containing and treating coronavirus and helping secure the health and safety of communities nationwide.
We will not cure COVID-19 over night. It will take a coordinated and smart approach that draws on all corners of the health care system: one that can only continue if our frontline workers are properly protected.
Additional information on efforts of ACHP plans and their affiliated systems during this public health crisis is available here.