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Provider Notebook: American Medical Association reacts to 'ongoing attacks on physicians'

There's been close to a 6% increase in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment since the public health emergency began.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The American Medical Association released a statement on what it called the ongoing attacks on physicians treating COVID-19 patients.

AMA president Dr. Susan Bailey said: "Throughout this pandemic, physicians, nurses, and frontline healthcare workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus. They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took. The suggestion that doctors – in the midst of a public health crisis – are overcounting COVID-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge. COVID-19 cases are at record highs today. Rather than attacking us and lobbing baseless charges at physicians, our leaders should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work – wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing physical distancing." 

The AMA was referring to comments made by President Trump during a political rally suggesting that doctors are overreporting COVID-19 deaths for financial gain. The American Hospital Association and other provider groups have also pushed back against such claims.

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Adventist Health has appointed Daniel Wolcott as president of Adventist Health Kern County Care Delivery, effective December 1. Wolcott is currently president of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial and Dameron Hospital in Stockton. He will lead and support the three Adventist Health Kern County hospitals in Bakersfield, Tehachapi and Delano, working closely with Adventist Health Delano president David Butler.

The first monthly Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows the impact of the coronavirus public health emergency by tracking total Medicaid and CHIP program enrollment trends for adults and children over a 12-month period. There were over 4 million new Medicaid and CHIP enrollments between February and June 2020 – a nearly 5.7% increase since the PHE began in March 2020. Enrollment sharply increased with the COVID-19 PHE and again with the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act continuity of coverage requirement. The Enrollment Trends Snapshot will be released monthly.

Kindred Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced that Joel Day has been appointed chief financial officer, effective January 1, 2021.  Day currently serves as senior vice president and Operations CFO, responsible for overseeing all strategic finance work for the enterprise. He will succeed current CFO John Lucchese, who is retiring after nearly 25 years of service to Kindred at the end of the year.

The company also announced that Todd Flowers, senior vice president for corporate finance and treasurer, will continue as treasurer and assume additional responsibilities as chief financial officer for strategy and support services. Julie Viers, vice president and controller, has been promoted to chief accounting officer. These appointments also are effective January 1, 2021.

The American Hospital Association has elected Phyllis Cowling to fill a vacancy on its board of trustees for one year, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Cowling is president and CEO of United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas, which serves nine counties in north central Texas. Prior to joining United Regional Health Care System in 2004, she served as chief financial officer for multiple hospitals and health systems over 18 years, including Baptist St. Anthony's Health System in Amarillo, Texas. Cowling has been an active member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association throughout her career. 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com