Blog RSS https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/ en Back to Work With Constant Vigilance: Q&A With Shawn Smith, Vice President of Human Resources for Ryman Hospitality Properties https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/back-work-constant-vigilance-qa-shawn-smith-vice-president-human-resources <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Back to Work With Constant Vigilance: Q&amp;A With Shawn Smith, Vice President of Human Resources for Ryman Hospitality Properties</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/30/2020 - 06:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/112" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Back to Work With Constant Vigilance: Q&amp;A With Shawn Smith, Vice President of Human Resources for Ryman Hospitality Properties"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Ryman Hospitality Properties recently reopened some of its businesses using health and safety guidance provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), which was named its <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/ryman-hospitality-partners-and-vumc-tune-safe-and-healthy-restart-business">wellness adviso</a><a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/%5Dhttps%3A//employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/ryman-hospitality-partners-and-vumc-tune-safe-and-healthy-restart-business">r</a> in May. We talked to Shawn Smith, Vice President of Human Resources, about what the company has learned in the first weeks of opening with revised operating standards and enhanced cleaning procedures.</p> <p><strong>Which of your business lines are back?</strong></p> <p>We have now successfully reopened up all of our Ole Red restaurants, the most recent being our new Orlando facility on June 19. We first reopened the Ole Red in Tishomingo, Okla., then Gatlinburg and then Nashville. We’ve also reopened Gaylord Opryland, Gaylord Palms, Gaylord Rockies and Gaylord Texan, and customer feedback has been positive. And on Friday, June 26, we reopened the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium for tours that follow Nashville health and safety guidelines. We don’t know when concerts and other public events at the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium will come back since many things are still on pause.</p> <p><strong>How are operations going with the new safety plan in place?</strong></p> <p>Our director of leadership and training took the guidance from the VUMC Infectious Diseases department and transformed it into a remote, online training program that we could use at all our venues. It is amazing. All that effort helped people breathe a little easier and alleviate worry.</p> <p>Employees have really appreciated the level of meaningfulness that we've put into the return-to-work strategy. Obviously, the partnership with Vanderbilt has been huge. We’re hearing really good feedback from employees and customers throughout every reopening. They can really see what we've done to make sure it's a safe environment. We're taking good care of our employees, who in turn are taking good care of our guests. So, it's been just very positive on all fronts.</p> <p><strong>What are some of the most common things that customers respond to? Do they comment about any of the safety guidelines?</strong></p> <p>Customers see that our employees are wearing masks and they see the daily sticker on our employees that indicates, “I’ve been temperature-screened, and I'm ready to work.” They notice the high-quality signage. They also see the six-feet-apart spacing and the limiting of large groups and congregating in the bathrooms. We're really trying to help our customers stay true to everything we’re training our employees to do.</p> <p>In guest feedback, what's resonated is that they feel comfortable coming into our environment. Customers have been very appreciative of our level of safety standards.</p> <p>As we reopen Grand Ole Opry and Ryman tours, we’ll learn more about how to communicate with customers. Now that the <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/nashville-public-health-order-mandating-masks-goes-effect">mask mandate</a> is in place for Davidson County, we are having to pivot and are now updating how we manage our customers on the Nashville front.</p> <p><strong>What would you want your fellow HR leaders to know as they move forward and their business get back to work?</strong></p> <p>I can't say it enough: The first thing is to find a trusted health and wellness source with which you can partner. We feel fortunate that we're able to make decisions with the help of the VUMC Infectious Diseases department. You can’t get much better than that.</p> <p>Obviously, not everyone would be able to partner with Vanderbilt, but everyone can find an ongoing health and wellness consultant who can help you access and aggregate all the many resources out there.  As you recall, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, there was so much information everywhere. As HR leaders, we were trying to figure out which guidance we should follow from all that we were seeing.</p> <p>We’re in a calmer space right now, but at the beginning, it seemed like we were in constant motion. That’s the beauty of the wellness advisor relationship: When variables change, you’ve got a source to lean on to help you be prepared.</p> <p>Second, be flexible. Those of us in HR can sometimes be very black and white thinkers, and we can be hesitant to make a lot of changes if we don't have to. We think that we've got a policy for everything else, so why can’t we make one for this situation, too? But with the pandemic, you have to throw all that out the window and be flexible as you take in lots of new information.</p> <p>Third, build a core team that can make decisions quickly. Think of it in terms of an emergency management team. We built a core team of leaders in HR, employee relations, training and leadership, and communications who had the authority and empowerment to drive decisions quickly and get the word out throughout the rest of the organization. Especially at the beginning, things were happening at this crazy, fast-paced speed, so we didn’t have time to socialize big policy changes through many layers like we would normally would. Because we often had to react in the moment, we needed to build a team and an infrastructure that made us feel more confident in making critical decisions very quickly and efficiently.</p> <p>Finally, keep the information flowing efficiently. Things can get sideways fast if you've got too many cooks in the kitchen.  It’s also a good idea to have a single liaison to your wellness advisor. With one person as the conduit, you won’t have a bunch of people coming at your vendor in multiple, perhaps contradictory ways.</p> <p><strong>Has COVID-19 changed your perspective on workplace physical and mental health? Is it going to change anything about your culture as a company?</strong></p> <p>We've always had good resources to promote total wellbeing and wellness. We have onsite gyms and fitness classes, nice workspaces, and good benefit plans. But the mental health piece is something that we can all get better at providing, and the need for it has been highlighted much more so through this pandemic.</p> <p><strong>How flexible do you think your corporate work environment will be going forward?</strong></p> <p>We’re opening up opportunities for people to be more flexible with their schedule. This situation proved that we can work remotely, and we can do it well. We eventually will be asked to come back to the corporate office, but there will be a lot greater flexibility knowing the work can still get done at home. That flexibility will go a long way toward strengthening mental health.</p> <p>We’re examining what we’re truly going to need for our employees going forward. It's going to be a little bit of evolution depending on which way things trend and once we're back to a greater capacity in the work environment. We'll learn even better ways to care of our employees, who are facing complicated issues with childcare and elderly care and other issues that arise with the return to work.</p> <p><strong>You've made it through a lot of hurdles to get back to business. What else have you learned that you think would help other HR leaders?</strong></p> <p>Overall, I think you have to maintain flexibility and stay vigilant. We’ve got a great plan, which we continue to tweak and improve along the way, but there is still the fear of the unknown. That's why you can never let your guard down. You’ve got to constantly be ready for change. That's just the environment we're in right now until further notice. It’s about having that good infrastructure and that information pipeline so that when you need to react, you're ready to hit the ground running again.</p> <p>I also think it’s important to build a strong team so that each member can take a break when they need to. It is important to focus on your mental wellbeing, especially if you’re making decisions for a lot of people. You have to take care of yourself to take care of others. I hate to say it out loud, but for the first time in weeks, I feel like we have a little bit of room to breathe.</p> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1" language="JavaScript"> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 112 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Nashville Public Health Order Mandating Masks Goes Into Effect https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/nashville-public-health-order-mandating-masks-goes-effect <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Nashville Public Health Order Mandating Masks Goes Into Effect</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/29/2020 - 10:06</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/111" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Nashville Public Health Order Mandating Masks Goes Into Effect"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Metro Public Health Department order mandating masks or face coverings is in effect as of Monday, June 29. The mandate comes as Nashville and Tennessee have seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions supports the use of masks to help reduce the spread of the virus, and we encourage all businesses to follow the Metro Public Health Department guidelines.</p> <p>“Wearing a mask, diligent hand hygiene and physical distancing are still our best tools to battle the spread of the virus,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The early and decisive action by the Board of Health and Mayor Cooper to issue this mandate will help prevent our local hospitals from experiencing the high caseloads we are seeing in the South in areas of Alabama, Florida, and Texas, help us keep our economy open, and save lives.”</p> <p>What does the order mean for your business? The order requires masks/face coverings be worn when in indoor and outdoor public spaces.</p> <p> Masks are not required in the following settings and circumstances:</p> <ul><li>By any child aged 12 years or younger. Any child younger than two years old must not wear a face covering because of risk of suffocation. </li> <li>In outdoor public spaces unless maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible;</li> <li>While engaged in outdoor work or recreation, such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, unless maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible;</li> <li>By those who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. No person declining to wear a face covering because of a medical condition shall be required to produce verifying medical documentation;</li> <li>By those working alone in separate office spaces or in non-public workplaces that have more than adequate area for social distancing based on the size of and number of people in the space (either indoors or outdoors). Such persons must be prepared to wear a face covering when interacting with others in groups of 6 or more persons or in groups of any size where social distancing of more than six (6) feet cannot be consistently maintained;</li> <li>When wearing a face covering poses a safety risk or security risk. "Safety risk" includes, but is not limited to, where wearing a face covering may pose a risk to persons working on ladders or at height, wearing other respiratory protection, engaging in heavy physical exertion, operating heavy equipment, or operating in an environment where a face covering hinders communications. “Security risk” includes, but is not limited to, an activity or transaction where establishing the identity of the customer or employee is important. However, employers are encouraged to structure work to promote social distancing and limit close contact as much as possible within workplaces where Face Coverings may pose such risks; and</li> <li>When eating or drinking in public at a restaurant, bar, or other food or beverage establishment.</li> </ul><p>The full public health order may be accessed <a href="https://www.asafenashville.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Order-8-FACE-MASKS-FINAL-SIGNED-V4-Amended-Children-section.pdf">here</a>. Thank you for playing your part to keep Nashville safe!</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1202707966.jpg?itok=hOnj_34V" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:06:47 +0000 roberjm7 111 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com American Airlines Boosts Travelers’ Peace of Mind With VUMC Expertise https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/american-airlines-boosts-travelers-peace-mind-vumc-expertise <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">American Airlines Boosts Travelers’ Peace of Mind With VUMC Expertise</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 06/26/2020 - 09:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/110" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to American Airlines Boosts Travelers’ Peace of Mind With VUMC Expertise"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Taking new actions that focus on the well-being and safety of customers and team members, American Airlines <a href="http://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2020/American-Airlines-Expands-Its-Clean-Commitment-by-Adding-Vanderbilt-University-Medical-Center-on-New-Travel-Health-Advisory-Panel-OPS-DIS-06/default.aspx">today announced</a> that it has created a new Travel Health Advisory Panel that includes Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) infectious disease experts to advise on health and cleaning matters as travelers return over the summer.</p> <p>The panel will include VUMC experts Dr. David Aronoff, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Thomas Talbot, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist, national leaders in the field of infectious disease prevention. These experts will provide American with the latest information from public health authorities and scientific research as well as advice and guidance on disease prevention, cleaning procedures and other public health matters. The panel, which will include other safety and operations experts, will help American continue to improve and innovate its cleaning procedures and ensure customers always feel safe in the skies.</p> <p>“We’re pleased to have access to new guidance on infectious diseases from the experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” said Alison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer. “Drs. Aronoff and Talbot will be an important part of our decision-making process on issues including cleaning, health screening, and infection prevention and control.”</p> <p>“We are proud to be advising a worldwide aviation leader like American Airlines as it works diligently to bring a new level of health and safety to the skies,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “As part of the Travel Health Advisory Panel, our infectious disease experts are working closely with leaders at American to help them identify and apply COVID-19 safety and infection prevention best practices for their team members and passengers around the world,”</p> <p>The new panel complements American’s existing work with medical director Dr. Stan Miller, and its ongoing consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other outside experts.</p> <p><strong>Panel Develops COVID-19 Symptom Checklist for Travelers</strong></p> <p>In May, American began requiring all customers and team members on board to wear a face covering unless there is a medical reason why they cannot. And earlier this month American said it would limit flight privileges for customers who refuse to wear a face covering without a medical reason. Face masks are also required for customers throughout their journey at most of American’s hub airports, and American continues to encourage airports to make this the standard. Wearing a face covering continues to be one of the most important ways travelers can protect themselves and others while flying.</p> <p>In addition, beginning June 30, American will begin asking customers during the check-in process to certify that they have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days. American worked with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to develop the COVID-19 symptom checklist for each customer using self-service machines in airports or during online check-in at home. American has also been actively engaged with recent efforts by the industry trade group Airlines for America to put customer well-being first.</p> <p>“Our customers trust us to make every aspect of their journey safe. We won’t let them down,” Taylor said. “We will continue to refine and update our practices based on the latest information from health authorities and our own Travel Health Advisory Panel.”</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/1200x630_LinkedIn_Lounge_no_bkgd_logo.jpg?itok=D8Lv9oSM" width="576" height="302" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 26 Jun 2020 14:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 110 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com How to Support Effective Contact Tracing in Your Community https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/how-support-effective-contact-tracing-your-community <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How to Support Effective Contact Tracing in Your Community</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 06/19/2020 - 06:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/109" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to How to Support Effective Contact Tracing in Your Community"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The pandemic might have been many people’s first introduction to contact tracing, but the control measure has been used by health departments for decades to help stop the transmission of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, SARS, Ebola and, now, COVID-19. According to the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/principles-contact-tracing.html#:~:text=Contact%20tracing%20is%20part%20of,stop%20chains%20of%20transmission">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>, contact tracing identifies those who have been exposed to a disease and ensures they do not interact with others, helping protect communities from further spread. These plans keep outbreaks from overwhelming the healthcare system and give scientists time to deliver targeted treatments and vaccines.</p> <p>Knowing how crucial it would be to institute a COVID-19 contract tracing plan for its faculty and staff, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)’s Occupational Health Clinic (OHC) got to work immediately to develop a robust monitoring system to identify VUMC employees who have been in close contact with COVID-19-positive patients, coworkers, family members or roommates. (Within 6 feet of a COVID-19 carrier for more than 10 minutes is considered close contact.)</p> <p>“The reason we’re here is to protect our employees as they’re doing their job to protect everybody else,” said OHC Director Lori Rolando, MD, MPH.</p> <p>The system allows the OHC team to efficiently investigate a person’s close contacts, determine the risk of exposure, and quickly communicate recommendations to those who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. “Our goal is to inform our employees of known exposures and closely monitor each individual via daily symptom surveys to ensure any signs of infection are addressed early,” said Michael Chin, MD, MPH, Associate Director of the OHC.</p> <p>Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 at any site across the VUMC network automatically goes into a COVID registry the moment the test result comes back, according to the <em><a href="https://news.vumc.org/2020/04/09/surveillance-key-to-monitoring-exposed-employees/">VUMC Reporter</a></em>.</p> <p>“We reach out by email to all employees whose work would have put them in close contact with these patients,” said Clinic Instructor Tanicia Washington Haynes, NP, who leads clinic staff and around 30 trained volunteers in the monitoring effort. “We also conduct phone interviews with any employees who have tested positive themselves, and if it turns out they were at work during their infectious period, we ask about any close contact with co-workers during that time,” she said.</p> <p>The program requires self-monitoring, which involves checking one’s temperature twice a day and completing a short daily email survey regarding symptoms.</p> <p><strong>5 Steps You Can Take</strong></p> <p>Contact tracing is typically a task undertaken by public health departments and larger employers, but it’s still important to be a good corporate partner and prop up efforts to curtail a disease’s spread. Here are some guidelines for supporting employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 and expediting effective contact tracing for your community:</p> <p><strong>1. Act quickly to arrest the spread. </strong>Educate employees on the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html">symptoms of COVID-19</a> and make it part of companywide policy that they alert the HR team immediately if they’re diagnosed with the virus. The HR team should collaborate with their local health department to notify any co-workers who might have been exposed to this employee.</p> <p><strong>2. Acknowledge employees’ worries and questions. </strong>Develop a single source of truth—whether that’s an HR team member, a health department liaison or a clinical partner—who can answer employees’ questions. Assure exposed employees they will not lose their job or benefits during their time of quarantine and support them with helpful information such as <a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/rs/995-AMQ-354/images/VHES%20Isolation%20Guidelines%20for%20Exposed%20Employees-ALL%5B1%5D.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT0RWbFpqRTRZalV5T0dNdyIsInQiOiJpM2dkdDRYbDlPWWZVaVwvZTI3dlZrOUdNZHdJb2tTa3F1b1RTZGJNZ3BUY3ZwYjVWeFhnakU3NGNlWHgxWE5HTUNkQzVnUVJBblVwWjZHcmNYeW9YZTVkQ1JMR0lkSGQ4U1N0MXVnVnRrZEhpUHpZMzFpak95RUZjcHFjSjU2bXoifQ%3D%3D" target="_blank">isolation guidelines</a>, <a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/rs/995-AMQ-354/images/VHES Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results-ALL.pdf">recommendations</a> for employees who have been tested and are awaiting test results, and a <a href="https://vhanhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-Patient-Education-Directory-24.pdf">COVID-19 Patient Education Directory</a> geared toward children, teens and families.</p> <p><strong>3. Assess whether the exposed employee is able to isolate and practice adequate infection control.</strong> It’s important for the person exposed to COVID-19 to be able to maintain social distance from others in a safe environment with access to a private room and bathroom, adequate food and water, and proper medication. In some cases, your employee might need housing assistance if their current living situation doesn’t allow them to separate themselves from others.</p> <p><strong>4. Make privacy a priority. </strong>Only disclose the minimum amount of information required to warn others of the risk of exposure while ensuring an employee’s medical record remains private. The <a href="https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/contact-tracing-employers.aspx">Society for Human Resource Management</a> advises employers that they “have the right to ask employees if they have symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But they should never divulge the name of an infected employee to others at the workplace beyond those conducting the investigation.”</p> <p><strong>5. Consider technology tools. </strong>Hundreds of electronic monitoring apps have been developed to help public health agencies in their contact tracing efforts, and even <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-10/apple-google-partnership-on-covid-fight-is-huge">Google and Apple</a> are partnering to add a contract tracing option to their phones. Your employees might be interested in opting into these kinds of apps, which alert users through Bluetooth technology if they have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/contact%20tracing.jpg?itok=B6Az7EOd" width="576" height="318" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 19 Jun 2020 11:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 109 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com COVID-19 Survey Reveals Close to Half of Employers Enhancing Health & Wellness Benefits https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-survey-reveals-close-half-employers-enhancing-health-wellness <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">COVID-19 Survey Reveals Close to Half of Employers Enhancing Health &amp; Wellness Benefits</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 06/11/2020 - 06:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/108" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to COVID-19 Survey Reveals Close to Half of Employers Enhancing Health &amp; Wellness Benefits"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>While employers are feeling the financial pinch of COVID-19, particularly when it comes to making 2021 healthcare benefit decisions, many are still finding ways to protect the well-being of their employees and bolster their mental health.</p> <p>Nearly half (47%) of the 817 employers in an April 2020 <a href="https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-US/Insights/2020/05/2020-covid-19-benefits-survey">Willis Towers Watson survey</a> are improving their employees’ healthcare benefits and 45% are enhancing wellness programs because of the coronavirus. “The pandemic has led to high levels of employee anxiety and stress, so employers are making it easier for employees to get help across all aspects of the well-being spectrum,” said Regina Ihrke, senior director and well-being leader at Willis Towers Watson.</p> <p>Many of the companies surveyed—in industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare to financial services—are prioritizing access to mental health services and stress resiliency programs (66% of employers). Others are providing virtual workouts and virtual social gatherings (60%) and promoting healthy nutrition and weight management for employees (50%). More than half (51%) are providing training to managers to help them recognize signs of anxiety and/or depression. Additional employers are seriously considering such programs to raise engagement and enhance productivity.</p> <p>For those employees still working from home, many employers are investing in ways to help them stay connected and combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection. Videoconferencing capabilities have been expanded for a vast majority of employers (85%), and 73% are offering flexible hours to give employees a chance to better manage work and home challenges such as childcare. Flexibility is also being addressed with leave programs, with 42% of employers making changes to paid time off or vacation/sick leave programs such as increasing carryover hours, allowing negative balances and setting up programs to donate leave time to others.</p> <p>When it comes to retirement plans, however, some businesses are curtailing benefits. Some (12% of employers) have taken actions to suspend or reduce matching or nonelective contributions to the defined contribution plan, and a larger percentage (24%) are planning or considering them those actions. But for employees facing financial difficulty, employers’ adoption of CARES Act changes is making it easier for employees to access retirement benefits.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1173619383.jpg?itok=6W8tzuR-" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 11 Jun 2020 11:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 108 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Vanderbilt Health Collaborates With Area Employers to Create Safer Nashville for Employees and Visitors https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/vanderbilt-health-collaborates-area-employers-create-safer-nashville <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Vanderbilt Health Collaborates With Area Employers to Create Safer Nashville for Employees and Visitors</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/leelm1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">leelm1</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/09/2020 - 13:26</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/107" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Vanderbilt Health Collaborates With Area Employers to Create Safer Nashville for Employees and Visitors"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Vanderbilt Health is making news for exciting new alliances to create a safer city in which to live, play and work. <a href="https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.vanderbilthealth.com%2Fgs000W600408MQ0aA000sq0&amp;data=02%7C01%7CLAURA.M.LEE%40VUMC.ORG%7C8d58c61dac924833148a08d80c9ad3ae%7Cef57503014244ed8b83c12c533d879ab%7C0%7C0%7C637273206411677769&amp;sdata=0G9NrI2OKEgMRQztZ6nal0GIBc54lbJno%2Fo1Id5NvGo%3D&amp;reserved=0" id="" originalsrc="https://go.vanderbilthealth.com/gs000W600408MQ0aA000sq0" shash="OCEWFfcEQ0d5pvs9FUHftAfnD5p0WgCGcUwe1N3NLGVV2Lk1cM6w8jMV6NE4sv/t1+uI8ug4LBpCPepfoPqF3BMi1ty5fILdYuQpWHdFgqc/Zu8onF+JDqQ29pgfsk/wCrOqfSwe6caQxwUhbO0+yv+qkxAbESTyptqsBevlzkc=" target="_blank">On May 28</a>, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., in collaboration with Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality Partners, launched the <a href="https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.vanderbilthealth.com%2FXa600tM0W000Qq000048At0&amp;data=02%7C01%7CLAURA.M.LEE%40VUMC.ORG%7C8d58c61dac924833148a08d80c9ad3ae%7Cef57503014244ed8b83c12c533d879ab%7C0%7C0%7C637273206411677769&amp;sdata=ZTTm6hYxGXvXA%2FaA2HE1LpdJamX3CCa0j2DY3nBg%2BeU%3D&amp;reserved=0" id="" originalsrc="https://go.vanderbilthealth.com/Xa600tM0W000Qq000048At0" shash="lTbTXl33QaAFjZE4J9B1zN/Gr3EQF8/O2p8IZxzXxwuskcOetjHPrHqcs6CLb4BdJu5jLoh8DjPPdgNrrEZkkU3t8Dwn2/CGuyUPCJaH4nd0OoSsRcBpCrQtCAE9SLFa1Bjw79vwG6+z6JUVc0NciDvqPhTWUC4aA9hjNQ7DwOE=" target="_blank">Good to Go</a> program to offer enhanced safety and best practices for Nashville-area businesses as they begin reopening. Good to Go asks Nashville-area businesses to commit to health standards from the Metro Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also gives businesses access to toolkits and support to help carry out the recommendations in a way that is consistent across Music City. Vanderbilt Health’s leading infectious disease experts helped develop key elements of the program and will be involved with ongoing learning and information sharing.</p> <p>The program launch comes on the heels of May 21’s <a href="https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.vanderbilthealth.com%2FlnM0m00068000Q4a00W0p0A&amp;data=02%7C01%7CLAURA.M.LEE%40VUMC.ORG%7C8d58c61dac924833148a08d80c9ad3ae%7Cef57503014244ed8b83c12c533d879ab%7C0%7C0%7C637273206411677769&amp;sdata=IM1CSc4x0On7uPByQ0xmB1siu%2BP72eDbfVytxhD5u58%3D&amp;reserved=0" id="" originalsrc="https://go.vanderbilthealth.com/lnM0m00068000Q4a00W0p0A" shash="FeOE0RT4X7SqI0H4IKTWOIUf33ej1MY1p7E8gKmX1jLSCkLWFOigaFbyzCJYAlxbXLYP7WaEWEh9jiIGM1Kfbc2fhNJscz/ZyVPoLI9naDOD+rueylbiZ/M7FJmyjWsPLfrEF67Pa3zeWje+qJEarBJXi4qPwELfn0uXakbehpA=" target="_blank">announcement</a> of the Ryman Hospitality Properties choosing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) as its wellness advisor. VUMC is providing support to the Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc., as it continues to refine the reopening operating procedures, plans and training materials as part of a multi-phase health safety operations strategy for its entertainment assets and Gaylord Hotels network.  </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/nashville%20skyline.jpg?itok=Qp50AjLD" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Tue, 09 Jun 2020 18:26:30 +0000 leelm1 107 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Good to Go Program Kicks off With Assist From Vanderbilt Health Infectious Disease Expert https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/good-go-program-kicks-assist-vanderbilt-health-infectious-disease-expert <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Good to Go Program Kicks off With Assist From Vanderbilt Health Infectious Disease Expert</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lohrmase" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lohrmase</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 06/04/2020 - 15:20</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/106" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Good to Go Program Kicks off With Assist From Vanderbilt Health Infectious Disease Expert"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The <a href="https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/EmployerSolutions/">Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions</a> team encourages all employers to participate in <a href="https://www.goodtogonashville.com">Good to Go</a>, a free program launched by the Nashville Convention &amp; Visitors Corp. (NCVC) in collaboration with Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality Partners to help Nashville businesses restart in a healthy and sustainable way.</p> <p>The voluntary program asks Nashville-area businesses to commit to health standards from the Metro Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Orientation for the program kicked off Thursday, May 28. (If you missed it, watch this <a href="https://finnpartners.zoom.us/rec/share/ptVxLK_9tV9OYs_s6UPGc7MaTtW6X6a8gHVM8vUJz0m9bHYmBUIdhX1LaI1kAMJc?utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=watch%20our%20introductory%20webinar%20on%20demand&amp;utm_campaign=GTG052920">introductory webinar</a> [password: 1G^.6+^l] and then <a href="https://www.goodtogonashville.com/businesses/participant-pledge">sign the pledge</a> to participate.)</p> <p>“We’re going to do our part at Vanderbilt Health and through the public health community to monitor disease activity in the community and separate myths from reality,” said VUMC’s David Aronoff, MD, Addison B. Scoville Chair in Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, during the introductory webinar. “While it might be the easiest thing to just open everything up like nothing ever happened and allow for a very loose environment, we have to be cautious. As much as we're moving forward, we can quickly move backward if the disease rears up again. So we need everyone in for the win.”</p> <p>Deana Ivey, NCVC’s chief marketing officer, used the webinar to outline the three key aspects of the Good to Go program:</p> <ol><li><strong>Learning</strong>: Good to Go prioritizes continuous learning. Participants will become more familiar with coronavirus, how it spreads, what the public health guidance is and how to apply the information to their business. The program encourages participating businesses to designate a Good to Go champion who can complete the e-learning curriculum, educate employees on health standards, and help implement best practices for safety and infection.</li> <li><strong>Sharing</strong>: Good to Go will include opportunities for peer businesses to support and learn from each other. Peer groups will be created and moderated by leaders from NCVC, Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality Properties.</li> <li><strong>Amplifying</strong>: Participating businesses will receive access to an online toolkit of helpful resources to help move them forward.</li> </ol><p>Good to Go program benefits include:</p> <ul><li>Signage to display Good to Go’s <strong>signature green music note</strong> </li> <li><strong>Business listing</strong> on Good to Go website</li> <li>Access to <strong>program toolkit and materials</strong> on infectious disease prevention and workplace safety informed by Vanderbilt experts</li> <li><strong>Insights into best practices</strong> from RHP leaders</li> <li><strong>Monthly calls</strong> with fellow Good to Go participants</li> <li>Timely access to <strong>Vanderbilt Health infectious disease professionals</strong> for questions</li> <li><strong>Promotion of the program by the Nashville Convention &amp; Visitors Corp marketing engine</strong></li> </ul><p>Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:</p> <ul><li>June 5, 11 a.m.: Good to Go educational webinar</li> <li>Week of June 8: NCVC begins distributing green music notes</li> <li>Friday, June 12: Make-up educational webinar</li> <li>Ongoing: Virtual forums with other businesses in your industry</li> </ul><p>Learn more on the official <a href="https://www.goodtogonashville.com">Good to Go website</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/GTG-Solid_0.png?itok=_aOBOl2c" width="576" height="297" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 04 Jun 2020 20:20:22 +0000 lohrmase 106 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com The Transformative Potential of Bundled Payments https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/transformative-potential-bundled-payments <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Transformative Potential of Bundled Payments</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 06/04/2020 - 06:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/105" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to The Transformative Potential of Bundled Payments"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>At the <a href="https://www.mtebc.org">Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council</a> (MTEBC)’s May Meeting, participants were challenged to think differently about their benefits plans as they approach 2021. With the support of <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/EmployerSolutions/">Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions</a>, CJ Stimson, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), hosted the virtual meeting entitled “Cost Savings Through Bundles.” Dr. Stimson—who concurrently serves as the Medical Director of the Office of Episodes of Care in the Office of Population Health and as Senior Advisor to the Chief Health System Officer of Vanderbilt Health System—discussed ways to proactively control costs in 2021 health benefits plans, an even more crucial task for the upcoming year.</p> <p><strong>The Challenge</strong></p> <p>“We all understand that healthcare is wasteful,” Dr. Stimson began, calling to attention a seminal <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1148376">2012 study</a> from Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP and Andrew D. Hackbarth, MPhil, on the six types of healthcare waste, which the authors categorized as overtreatment, failures of care coordination, failures in execution of care processes, administrative complexity, pricing failures, and fraud and abuse. Berwick and Hackbarth found that “the sum of the lowest available estimates exceeds 20% of total healthcare expenditures,” with the actual total likely far greater. </p> <p>“We’re spending more but we're not getting more,” Dr. Stimson says. From 1970 to 2010, the economy grew at a rate of 5.8%, while healthcare spending grew at a rate of around 8.2%. “Over that 40-year period, the rate of spend was growing faster than the economy’s rate of growth,” he says. “For an employer that means the amount of money that you're spending on healthcare services is far outpacing your business revenue. That is an unsustainable trajectory.”</p> <p>Employers are certainly feeling the squeeze. In an April 2019 <a href="https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2019/sep/small-business-owners-views-health-coverage-costs">Commonwealth Fund survey</a> of small business owners’ top challenges, employers overwhelmingly declared the cost of providing healthcare coverage to employees as their No. 1 issue.</p> <p><strong>The Bundled Payment Solution</strong></p> <p>Dr. Stimson believes one solution is to change the rules of the game by changing how we pay for and deliver care. He’s an advocate of the bundled payment model, which can help eliminate certain elements of healthcare waste. “Bundles can’t solve everything, such as administrative complexity and pricing failures, but they are a great way to tackle failures in care delivery, care coordination and overtreatment,” he says.</p> <p>The bundle payment model begins by identifying an episode of care—a maternity experience or a spine surgery, for instance. It then assigns a single prospective bundle price to cover all the required services of that experience. “It removes the incentive for me as the surgeon to do more and more and more,” Dr. Stimson says. “It adds the incentive to do only what's necessary and coordinate with the other providers and caregivers who are impacting that patient's life.”</p> <p>He outlined some of the advantages of the bundled payment model:</p> <ol><li><strong>It removes the misalignment of financial incentives and decreases utilization. </strong>“In a fee-for-service world—a world in which I get paid for everything I do, whether it has a good outcome or not-good outcome—you're going to see more utilization,” Dr. Stimson says. “With bundled payments, providers take on more risk, which will ultimately deliver a better experience for patients both clinically and from a service standpoint.”</li> <li><strong>It’s a predictable model. </strong>Bundled payments allow for a transparent, known payment for a set of services.</li> <li><strong>It drives out wasteful spend.</strong> By encouraging the creation of care paths and protocols, the system prioritizes consistent care and eliminates variation. “There’s no incentive to deliver any service that's unnecessary,” Dr. Stimson says.</li> <li><strong>It breaks down silos and increases care coordination. </strong>Instead of paying for different services separately—physician services, radiology, surgery, anesthesiology, etc.—the bundled payment encourages coordination and builds in incentives for departments to manage a patient’s entire experience.</li> </ol><p>“Bundled payments are a win for patients and employers,” Stimson concludes. “Not only will patients have a better experience with increased care coordination and less unnecessary treatment, but the employers who pay for the majority of employees’ care will also realize the financial upside.”</p> <p>For Dr. Stimson’s entire presentation, access the audio recording <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iK0Svrwopwb-Te5Z3LhqwHsAyOb0h2n8/view">here</a>, and an audio and video recording <a href="https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TXVqO-o8CBKK73I7wZ1X1a71vR4ciAMt">here</a>.  Click <a href="https://www.mtebc.org">here</a> to learn more about the MTEBC and its upcoming events, and click <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/MyHealthBundlesForEmployers/54628">here</a> to learn more about Vanderbilt Health’s MyHealth Bundles.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/piggy%20bank%20with%20business%20stuff.jpg?itok=hGdfqyYI" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 04 Jun 2020 11:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 105 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com First-of-Its-Kind Program Creates Safer Nashville for Employees & Visitors https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/first-its-kind-program-creates-safer-nashville-employees-visitors <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">First-of-Its-Kind Program Creates Safer Nashville for Employees &amp; Visitors</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 05/28/2020 - 10:15</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/104" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to First-of-Its-Kind Program Creates Safer Nashville for Employees &amp; Visitors"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today Music City leaders announced <strong><a href="https://www.goodtogonashville.com">Good to Go</a></strong>, a first-of-its-kind program designed to improve safety for residents and visitors as Nashville-area businesses begin reopening. The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. (NCVC) launched the program in collaboration with Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality Properties (RHP) to pave the way to restart Nashville businesses in a healthy and sustainable way.</p> <p>The voluntary program asks Nashville-area businesses to commit to health standards from the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It also gives participating businesses free access to toolkits and support to help carry out the recommendations in a way that is consistent across Music City. The <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/EmployerSolutions/">Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions</a> team worked closely with VUMC Infectious Disease experts to develop key elements of the program and will be involved with ongoing learning and information sharing.</p> <p>Participating businesses will be given a special green music note to display at their locations and on their websites and materials to indicate their commitment to following these safety standards. Additionally, participating businesses will be recognized on a new Good to Go <a href="http://www.goodtogonashville.com/">website</a> that will be promoted to visitors. Business interested in joining Good to Go can sign up <a href="https://www.goodtogonashville.com">online</a> by June 4.</p> <p>“We encourage every business in Nashville to join Good to Go. We believe this is the first program of this kind in the nation to provide uniform industry guidelines and comprehensive toolkits for businesses throughout the city in response to COVID-19. We want to show the world that through cooperation and collaboration, Nashville is safe and sound,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of NCVC. “As destinations begin to open, Good to Go will help Nashville stand apart as it ensures that our business community is following all public health guidelines and has access to leading experts at Vanderbilt Health. It will give all those who live and come to Nashville confidence and peace of mind that we are safely open for business.”</p> <p>To participate, businesses must agree to adopt all applicable guidelines set forth by MPHD and CDC and participate in Good to Go’s enhanced learning program. In return, businesses will receive regular information and insights from infection prevention experts at Vanderbilt Health, key learnings and best practices from Ryman Hospitality Properties leaders and access to new resources as recommendations change.</p> <p>Good to Go program benefits include:</p> <ul><li>Signage to display Good to Go’s signature green music note</li> <li>Business listing on Good to Go website</li> <li>Access to program toolkit and materials on infectious disease prevention and workplace safety informed by Vanderbilt experts</li> <li>Insights into best practices from RHP leaders</li> <li>Monthly calls with fellow Good to Go participants</li> <li>Timely access to Vanderbilt Health infectious disease professionals for questions</li> </ul><p>“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nashville has carefully managed many of the issues that have disproportionately impacted other major cities. Our success has been possible through creative problem solving by leaders from government and major industries who have joined together around a shared vision for how best to help the city get safely back to business,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “Good to Go will ensure that informational tools and best practices are readily available for businesses working to keep their employees and customers safe. Vanderbilt Health is proud to play a leadership role in this effort.”</p> <p>“Ryman Hospitality Properties began working with Vanderbilt Health in the early days of the pandemic to provide the teams at all of our properties—including restaurants, entertainment venues and our hotels—direct access to the nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease control,” said Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties. “We helped spearhead Good to Go because we wanted to make elements of our early work with Vanderbilt Health available so that other Nashville businesses could have access to the tools, resources and information needed to operate a business until a vaccine or treatment is available for COVID-19.”</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/GTG-Solid.png?itok=ab6LKdFz" width="576" height="297" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 28 May 2020 15:15:00 +0000 roberjm7 104 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Ryman Hospitality Partners and VUMC in Tune for a Safe and Healthy Restart to Business https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/ryman-hospitality-partners-and-vumc-tune-safe-and-healthy-restart-business <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ryman Hospitality Partners and VUMC in Tune for a Safe and Healthy Restart to Business</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 05/21/2020 - 08:30</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/102" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Ryman Hospitality Partners and VUMC in Tune for a Safe and Healthy Restart to Business"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc., <a href="http://ir.rymanhp.com/news-releases/news-release-details/ryman-hospitality-properties-inc-selects-vanderbilt-university">announced</a> the selection of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) as its official wellness advisor during the company’s phased reopening of its businesses. VUMC will provide support to the Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc., as it implements operating procedures, plans and training materials as part of a multi-phase health safety operations strategy for its entertainment assets and its Gaylord Hotels network.</p> <p>"We could have our security people [checking temperatures], but I think it sends a strong signal that we’re really serious about it when we have one of the nation’s leading hospitals doing this for us," Chairman and CEO Colin Reed told the <em>Nashville Business Journal</em> in a <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/05/22/vanderbilt-helping-ryman-reopening-colin-reed.html?ana=e_nsh_bn_breakingnews_breakingnews&amp;j=90510125&amp;t=Breaking%20News&amp;mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT1RkaVlUQmlZV0UyTldKaSIsInQiOiJjT2N4QkJHbkVXTm4wK0dyTkxsRThDem9xSFE1MFNhTktRRXVWbURCVDJWZXlPdjdZOWZGd0RycVFveFZpZ2tXQXI3UTRFaWFQT1FRd2FvZnc2b090TUt0b1drOUYyZk1zRG5WMkRrZ3FFa3ljSnhKMFwvbFdcL2tIeCtZdE1ZazZFIn0%3D">May 22 article</a>. </p> <p>Ryman Hospitality Properties will consult with VUMC and local health officials as it moves between phases. A panel of VUMC clinical subject matter experts specializing in infectious disease control will provide counsel for on-site preparations and advise on the development of training and educational materials for employees. The panel will also oversee re-opening activities and a review of safety standards similar to the model VUMC is implementing in its own hospitals and clinics today.</p> <p>“In the early stages of this crisis, we sought the advice of local health experts as we made proactive decisions to temporarily suspend operations at most of our businesses,” Reed said. “Safety continues to be our top priority as we prepare to reopen our assets, and that is why we have elected to formalize our partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. </p> <p>"We want to make certain our teams have direct access to the nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease control so our stakeholders can feel confident that our approach to health and safety is best-in-class during this rapidly evolving situation," he continued.</p> <p>In addition to the subject matter expert panel, VUMC and Ryman will establish a joint steering committee made up of VUMC’s senior administrative and clinical leaders and the Ryman’s key executives and leaders. The committee will oversee the collaboration and recommend modifications to policies, procedures and protocols affecting employee and guest safety based on the latest available research.</p> <p>“Ryman Hospitality Properties is one of the most well-regarded and innovative brands in the hospitality and entertainment industry," said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This agreement, which allows our experts to work alongside their teams to incorporate best practices in infection prevention from the healthcare industry into Ryman’s daily operations, demonstrates their commitment to the safety and well-being of their employees and clientele. We believe this relationship will set the standard for wellness initiatives among our industries as we adopt new ways to support business in the COVID-19 era.”</p> <p>Ryman Hospitality Properties began a phased reopening of its entertainment assets in mid-May and expects to reopen its Gaylord Hotels assets in stages beginning in mid-to-late June. </p> <p>"As we begin our phased approach to reopening, we believe this relationship with VUMC will provide an added layer to our already stringent standards that will allow us the flexibility to tailor our plans to meet the unique needs of each of our businesses during this time,” Reed said. “We are examining every step of our guest and employee experience to ensure we have the proper protocols in place as guests return to our businesses.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/OEG_BrandCollage_1200x630-1.jpg?itok=-MdF9Epq" width="576" height="302" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 21 May 2020 13:30:50 +0000 roberjm7 102 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Restarting Routine and Elective Care: What Employees Should Expect https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/restarting-routine-and-elective-care-what-employees-should-expect <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Restarting Routine and Elective Care: What Employees Should Expect</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lohrmase" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lohrmase</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 05/20/2020 - 09:35</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/101" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Restarting Routine and Elective Care: What Employees Should Expect"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Many of your employees have put off non-urgent health procedures, dental and vision appointments in the last two and a half months because of COVID-19 infection fears. Now that Vanderbilt Health and other providers have safely reintroduced care services, employees may be ready to reschedule those postponed visits. What should they expect?</p> <p><strong>For health appointments that must take place in person:</strong> Vanderbilt Health has restarted surgeries, procedures and clinical visits that have been paused or delayed during the COVID-19 epidemic—taking a careful approach that follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted experts.</p> <p>New <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/patientandvisitorinfo/54746?utm_source=vh_alert_banner&amp;_ga=2.236854081.1512026332.1589907688-1460051552.1589812933">safety practices</a> at our hospitals, clinics and other facilities start before an appointment takes place. Patients will receive a call from their physician’s office to pre-screen them for symptoms of COVID-19. The office will ask where patients have traveled recently and whether they have had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. They’ll also ask patients to wear a mask to their visit. </p> <p>On the day of the appointment, patients will be asked to check in by phone and wait in the parking lot, or after they sign in, they can return to their vehicles and wait to be notified when clinicians are ready to see them. The provider’s staff will also screen patients’ temperature at the entrance and ensure they have on a mask. Staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and gowns to protect themselves. To add to patients’ peace of mind, Vanderbilt Health has reconfigured its waiting rooms throughout its facilities to create more distance and removed all magazines and other disposable materials could be sources of contamination. </p> <p>This <a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/sites/default/files/COVID%20Documents/Caring%20for%20you%20and%20your%20family_CV-19%20%28HC2006%29%2005-2020.pdf">Caring for You and Your Family graphic</a> outlines more of what to expect during a Vanderbilt Health visit. </p> <p><strong>For appointments that can take place via telehealth:</strong> For Vanderbilt Health patients who don’t require an in-person appointment, <a href="https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/telemedicine/">My Health at Vanderbilt</a> makes it easy for them to connect with their physicians via a telehealth visit for non-urgent health or prescription issues, as well as to communicate updates between visits. The service also includes a robust email messaging feature for quick answers to non-emergency health questions. Telehealth visits at VUMC have skyrocketed from an average of 10 a day in early March to more than 2,000 a day a month later, according to a recent <em>VUMC Reporter</em> <a href="https://news.vumc.org/2020/05/14/telehealth-transforms-vumc-patient-provider-connections-during-pandemic/">article</a>. </p> <p>Common issues that can be addressed through telehealth appointments include:</p> <ul><li>Wellness visits and follow-up appointments</li> <li>Acute illnesses like rashes, colds and flu, and bladder infections</li> <li>Psychiatry and behavioral health issues</li> <li>Certain pediatric specialty appointments, such as developmental medicine and hearing and speech, and adult specialty appointments, such as cardiology and diabetes</li> <li>Prescriptions for common drugs like birth control, blood pressure medication, allergy medication, inhalers, and medications to treat minor illnesses like sinus infections</li> </ul><p><strong>For dental care needs:</strong> In early May, dental offices were allowed to open throughout Tennessee for non-urgent dental appointments. Dental offices are following CDC <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html">recommendations</a> to protect patients and staff. These precautions include asking questions about patients’ health before their visit, requesting they wear a mask and wait outside until the appointment, and taking their temperature when they arrive. Dental professionals will also be wearing more extensive PPE, such as different masks, face shields, gowns and goggles. The American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy <a href="https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/covid-19-what-to-expect-when-your-dentists-office-reopens?utm_source=mouthhealthy&amp;utm_medium=mhhomerotator&amp;utm_conent=covid-19-what-to-expect-when-your-dentists-office-reopens">site</a> provides more detail on what happens before, during and after a dental appointment. </p> <p>Some insurance providers also offer virtual dental care options that allow patients to ask questions of licensed dentists via chat, as well as get prescriptions for antibiotics and non-narcotic pain relievers.</p> <p><strong>For vision care appointments:</strong> In April, the CDC removed the nationwide recommendation to postpone routine eye care due to COVID-19. Eye professionals are now using CMS’s <a href="https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-flexibility-reopen-essential-non-covid-services.pdf">Opening Up America Again</a> guidance to reopen their practices for nonemergent and non-COVID-19 healthcare. Following the CDC’s new <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/framework-non-COVID-care.html">Framework for Healthcare Systems</a>, providers will screen patients for risk of COVID-19 before they come in for an eye exam and take additional precautions, such as requiring social distancing in the waiting area and spacing out appointments to ensure that there is adequate time for cleaning work areas between patients.  The American Optometric Association’s <a href="https://www.aoa.org/covid-19-patient-resources">website</a> features patient resources and answers to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 eye health and vision care, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology site features a <a href="https://www.aao.org/eye-health/coronavirus">Coronavirus Guide for Eye Patients</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1179735454.jpg?itok=m8eYw6to" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Wed, 20 May 2020 14:35:20 +0000 lohrmase 101 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com COVID-19: 5 Tips for Managing Your 2021 Pharmacy Benefits https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-5-tips-managing-your-2021-pharmacy-benefits <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">COVID-19: 5 Tips for Managing Your 2021 Pharmacy Benefits</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 05/18/2020 - 09:24</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/100" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to COVID-19: 5 Tips for Managing Your 2021 Pharmacy Benefits"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As employers begin strategic development of their 2021 health benefits plans, they’re keenly interested in COVID-19’s impact on the pharmacy industry and how it might affect medication costs. The Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions team has compiled the following recommendations to better manage pharmacy benefits in this uncertain environment—with the goal of measurably improving the health of your employees and your bottom line:</p> <ol><li>Consider implementing a medication management program to ensure your drug spend is having its intended health impact. This program uses data analysis to help employees, particularly ones with chronic conditions, take their medicines as prescribed and ensure their medicines are safe, easy to get, affordable and work well together. The program includes medication reviews to help manage potential side effects and even lower overall medication use. When a medication management program is implemented effectively, it’s proven to <a href="https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.vanderbilthealth.com%2FJM46AP0B7Q0Wsxs0aw000Y0&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cjamie.roberts%40vumc.org%7Cacf9721b71874b91a34f08d7f8bf2369%7Cef57503014244ed8b83c12c533d879ab%7C0%7C0%7C637251372137146967&amp;sdata=6X5U7t2I0am91MHtwkU2D3Pws8Ssqs%2FzP5b20lR7Raw%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">reduce costs and improve care</a>.</li> <li>Design your benefits to encourage and enable employees to receive care via telehealth. Annual wellness visits and chronic condition maintenance visits can all be done remotely to remove worry of COVID-19 infection and time away from work. They can also help increase medication adherence rates and reduce disease escalation. At VUMC, many visits can now be accomplished via a telehealth appointment that starts in our patient portal, <a href="https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.vanderbilthealth.com%2Fz0Ps4a6000YMWCx7Awt0Q00&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cjamie.roberts%40vumc.org%7Cacf9721b71874b91a34f08d7f8bf2369%7Cef57503014244ed8b83c12c533d879ab%7C0%7C0%7C637251372137156961&amp;sdata=D3VK%2BYhI4QWnZvSoQU79%2BDVohkWBFR4GkGzbhlpBmEA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">My Health at Vanderbilt</a>.</li> <li>Consider technology resources, such as trackers and daily medication reminders, to encourage employees to adhere to their medication regimens and stay healthy and compliant with their care plans. Your benefit plan design could include incentives for starting and staying with technology that improves medication adherence.</li> <li>Remind employees about mail order pharmacy options to make medication access easier for those who are limiting their trips to stores during COVID-19. Fortunately, policies that restrict home deliveries have been relaxed, and delivery operations have ramped up in recent months.</li> </ol><p>Overall, your 2021 benefit planning should prioritize getting your pharmacy spend under control and ensuring that the investment you and your employees are making in medication is having its maximum impact on the health and productivity of your workforce.</p> <p>For more insight into recent changes in the pharmacy industry and a forecast of what’s to come, read our recent <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/pharmacy-benefits-covid-19-era-qa-james-manfred-executive-director-retail">Q&amp;A with James Manfred,</a> Executive Director of Retail Pharmacy at Vanderbilt Health. </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Mon, 18 May 2020 14:24:28 +0000 roberjm7 100 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Pharmacy Benefits in the COVID-19 Era: A Q&A With James Manfred, Executive Director of Retail Pharmacy at Vanderbilt Health https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/pharmacy-benefits-covid-19-era-qa-james-manfred-executive-director-retail <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Pharmacy Benefits in the COVID-19 Era: A Q&amp;A With James Manfred, Executive Director of Retail Pharmacy at Vanderbilt Health </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/15/2020 - 06:00</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/99" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Pharmacy Benefits in the COVID-19 Era: A Q&amp;A With James Manfred, Executive Director of Retail Pharmacy at Vanderbilt Health "> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Now that businesses have begun to restart services and are pivoting to a new normal, many employers are beginning to think strategically about their 2021 health benefits plans. Part of that planning includes taking a closer look at how COVID-19 will impact pharmacy benefits and taking steps to control medication costs.</p> <p>For insight into recent changes in the pharmacy industry and a forecast of what’s to come, we spoke to James Manfred, Executive Director of Retail Pharmacy at Vanderbilt Health.</p> <p><strong>Has pharmaceutical spend gone down because of COVID-19?</strong></p> <p>Pharmacy spend will probably never go down in total because of the innovation in pharmaceuticals. If there is a new drug that treats a disease state that previously had no treatment, that new medication will most likely be covered. The number of members of a plan having that disease will affect that plan’s drug spend, so it is never easy to determine what the future drug spend will be based on history. Any employer who has or had a member with hemophilia will understand what one patient with a high-cost disease state will mean to their drug spend.</p> <p><strong>You may not have a crystal ball, but what are some of your thoughts about the pharmacy spend for the rest of 2020 and into 2021? What does the forecast look like?</strong></p> <p>For disease states that have existing safe treatments, the trend should be flat. The vast majority of medications people are taking for maintenance are now generic, which means employers’ cost for those is relatively inexpensive. But if a plan’s membership includes people with disease states that have a new treatment that becomes available, that one treatment can have a huge impact on that plan’s drug spend. Of the new medications coming to market, 50% are these types of specialty medications, so the potential for a large increase is there.</p> <p><strong>We're imagining that COVID-19 has meant that chronic conditions have not been properly managed. Are you anticipating a backlog of prescriptions and the need to fill those rapidly?</strong></p> <p>Medication access has not been an issue throughout the pandemic, and I am not concerned for our patients. We have been proactive in trying to get medications to them via the method they feel most comfortable. Walgreens and CVS are offering free home delivery for the duration of this crisis. But COVID-19 could be a roadblock causing some patients not to seek care. There are many unsubstantiated reports that some patients on certain medications fare worse with COVID-19 than others, but that is an effect we won’t know about until a bit later.</p> <p><strong>In early May, the FDA approved emergency use of remdesivir as a COVID-19 experimental therapy. How will the industry deal with the rush for those kinds of experimental therapies? How will employers deal with the pressure to add these therapies to formularies, particularly as they look to 2021 health plans?</strong></p> <p>Remdesivir, which proved effective for Ebola, has already shown to be pretty effective for some people with COVID-19. The manufacturer actually gave the medication to the federal government to distribute around the country as they see fit. The manufacturer has already spent probably close to a billion dollars to see if it has an effect on certain viruses. The company has to decide both economically and politically what they need to charge for the drug going forward, but right now they're giving it away. From my point of view, it’s pretty amazing that a for-profit company is willing to give away their product to get us through this initial crisis with COVID.</p> <p><strong>What are your thoughts about drugs like hydroxychloroquine that may have been used for other conditions being used for COVID-19?</strong></p> <p>Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria as well as autoimmune diseases like lupus. Doctors were discovering that some patients’ immune systems were overreacting to the COVID-19 virus, and hydroxychloroquine actually works for some by toning down the immune response and prevent it from going crazy. It’s been around forever and is not an expensive drug.</p> <p><strong>What about other drugs that might have seen an uptick? With the coronavirus causing greater stress and anxiety in everyone, are medications for behavioral health on the rise?</strong></p> <p>Yes, lots of antianxiety medications and antidepressants are being prescribed. But my biggest fear is that some people are self-medicating with other products, such as alcohol. I’m concerned with how that will play out both with their current medications and on their overall health in the long run.</p> <p><strong>What are some of the ways to combat rising pharmacy costs, particularly when it comes to specialty drugs?</strong></p> <p>It’s a good time to consider if your pharmacy benefits manager offers medication management. Medication management is a service to help patients ensure their medicines are safe, easy to get, affordable and work well together.</p> <p>With medication management services, pharmacists use data analysis to help ensure at-risk patients are getting the right medications, that those medications are doing what they’re supposed to do, and that there aren’t any unintended side effects. For people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, they may be taking eight or nine drugs for those conditions and need help managing those medications. One patient we worked with was on 15 drugs; by the time they left a medication management meeting, they were able to delete medications that were used to counteract the side effects from other drugs and get that number down to 12. The patient was thrilled because now they were taking three fewer pills and their monthly medication costs were lower, and the employer was happy because overall costs were reduced. It was a win-win.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/image001.jpg?itok=7B69G7m0" width="576" height="380" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 15 May 2020 11:00:00 +0000 roberjm7 99 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Back to Work, With Safety as Our Cornerstone https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/back-work-safety-our-cornerstone <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Back to Work, With Safety as Our Cornerstone </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/leelm1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">leelm1</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/12/2020 - 12:30</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/98" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Back to Work, With Safety as Our Cornerstone "> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">As our region begins reopening businesses and making a transition to a new normal in the midst of coronavirus, the Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions team continues to share guidance to help employers keep safety top of mind. Our new blog has steadily added resources to help our employer partners create policies that protect employees, strengthen their mental health, ensure safe distancing and more.</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">We’ve provided recommendations on:</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">• <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/resources-boosting-mental-and-physical-resiliency" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">boosting mental and physical resiliency</a></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">• </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-signs-hope-vigilance-remains-essential" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">taking care of employees at higher risk of complications</a></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">• <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/strategies-keeping-employees-healthier-home" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">managing a remote workforce and keeping employees healthy at home</a></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">• <span style="background:white"><span style="color:black"><a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/alliancebernstein-partners-vumc-psychologist-mental-health-podcast-series" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">overcoming mental health challenges employees may be facing</a></span></span>, and </span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">• <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/6-guidelines-developing-return-work-plan" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">developing a return-to-work plan</a>, including tips on enhancing communication and</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:.5in"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">creativity with virtual teams</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">On May 7, the Employer Solutions team hosted a live Q&amp;A webinar with</span></span> <span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">David Aronoff, MD, Addison B. Scoville Chair in Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He answered questions targeted to ensuring reestablished businesses remain a healthy work environment</span></span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">. (Find a video of that webinar and a transcript <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/turning-lights-back-dimmer-switch-recap-back-work-safety-employers-webinar" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">here</a>.) And don’t miss our previous Q&amp;A with Dr. Aronoff, where he clearly defines <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-antibody-testing-qa-dr-david-aronoff-importance-validity-accuracy" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline">antibody tests</a>—what they can and can’t do.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/woman%20going%20to%20work.jpg?itok=3OoUJf7A" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Tue, 12 May 2020 17:30:25 +0000 leelm1 98 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com Event Preview: Innovation in Medical Plan Design and Cost Savings https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/event-preview-innovation-medical-plan-design-and-cost-savings <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Event Preview: Innovation in Medical Plan Design and Cost Savings</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/leelm1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">leelm1</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/12/2020 - 12:12</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/97" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to Event Preview: Innovation in Medical Plan Design and Cost Savings"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="text-indent:15.0pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">The</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"> COVID-19</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"> pandemic </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">put everything on pause, but now </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">employers</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"> are beginning to restart their businesses and develop recovery strategies for 2021. Part of that planning includes </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">taking a hard look at health benefits for their employees</span></span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">—and considering </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">options to regain control over cost</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">s</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">. One way employers are doing this is through direct partnerships with healthcare providers. Research shows that roughly a quarter of employers are considering contracting directly for employee healthcare services. And bundled payments for defined episodes of care represent a common starting point for these innovative relationships.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:15.0pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Vanderbilt Health’s innovative and value-based </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/myhealthbundlesforemployers/" style="color:blue; text-decoration:underline">MyHealth Bundles</a> program helps <span style="background:white"><span style="color:black">businesses better manage their benefits budget as well as develop a closer relationship with the healthcare providers who are caring for their employees</span></span>.</span></span> <span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">The program not only gives patients access to the excellent clinical care of the region’s leading academic medical center, but it also provides employers with more predictable costs and a healthier bottom line.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:15.0pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Vanderbilt Health’s first bundle is a joyful one: <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/MyHealthBundlesForEmployers/54628" style="color:blue; text-decoration:underline">MyMaternityHealth</a>. The program </span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">“bundles” all the services an expectant mother and baby need for the entire length of the pregnancy, from the initial prenatal care visit through delivery and 12 weeks after delivery. </span></span></span></span>The services feature the same bundle price for all deliveries, including c-section and vaginal deliveries<span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">; physician and hospital services, imaging and labs; and related inpatient admissions, ER visits and observation stays. The program also opens the door to concierge-level support, a patient navigator and free educational classes, including childbirth and lactation courses. Metro Nashville Public Schools and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are the first employers to take advantage of the program.</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:15.0pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">What’s on the horizon? More bundles for cochlear implant and spine surgery will be released in October, and total joint and bariatric surgery bundles are set for release in January 2021.</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-indent:15.0pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">To learn more about the benefits of bundles, join the Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council (MTEBC) next <b>Tuesday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m.</b> <strong>for a free webinar.</strong> (<a href="https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kceipqzMqHdYhUF1Bj4V9HMpd20lA-RbV" style="color:blue; text-decoration:underline">Register here</a> to reserve your spot.) CJ Stimson, MD, will take viewers on a deeper dive on bundles and review how employers can implement this model within their own 2021 health plans. Dr. Stimson, <span style="background:white"><span style="color:black">a practicing cancer surgeon at</span></span> <span style="background:white"><span style="color:black">Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC),</span></span> <span style="background:white"><span style="color:black">has led policy development on bundled payments at Medicare and at VUMC. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-524377348.jpg?itok=iGkT_hFo" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Tue, 12 May 2020 17:12:34 +0000 leelm1 97 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com 'Turning the Lights Back On With a Dimmer Switch': Recap of the Back-to-Work Safety for Employers Webinar https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/turning-lights-back-dimmer-switch-recap-back-work-safety-employers-webinar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">&#039;Turning the Lights Back On With a Dimmer Switch&#039;: Recap of the Back-to-Work Safety for Employers Webinar</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/lohrmase" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lohrmase</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/08/2020 - 09:53</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/96" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to &#039;Turning the Lights Back On With a Dimmer Switch&#039;: Recap of the Back-to-Work Safety for Employers Webinar"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank you to those who participated in the live Q&amp;A webinar on Back-to-Work Safety for Employers on May 7. David Aronoff, MD, Addison B. Scoville Chair in Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, provided relevant, timely information to help you ensure your reestablished business remains a healthy work environment.</p> <p>Here are some resources referenced in the webinar:</p> <ul><li>A <a href="https://youtu.be/WdjcCBC5eDI">recording</a> and <a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/rs/995-AMQ-354/images/May7Webinar-Transcript.pdf">transcript</a> of the one-hour call</li> <li>A PDF of the <a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/rs/995-AMQ-354/images/TennesseePledge_Close_Contact_Businesses.pdf">Tennessee Pledge for Close Contact Service Businesses</a>, a plan to help Tennesseans get back to work safely</li> <li><a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/rs/995-AMQ-354/images/ProtectYourGreatestAsset.pdf">Protecting Your Greatest Asset</a>,: An infographic with work safety reminders</li> <li><a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/sites/default/files/COVID%20Documents/Caring%20for%20you%20and%20your%20family_CV-19%20%28HC2006%29%2005-2020.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">Caring for You and Your Family</a>: An infographic outlining what to expect when you visit VUMC for healthcare</li> <li>Guidance on <a href="https://vhanhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Mandatory-COVID-19-Temperature-Screening-Guidance.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">temperature screening</a> to assist in screening employees each day for signs of possible COVID-19 infection</li> <li>Recommendations on <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2764955?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">wearing masks</a> to limit the spread of COVID-19 and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">information</a> from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on making masks and cloth face coverings</li> <li>Advice from Dr. Aronoff on <a href="https://www.newschannel5.com/news/doctors-gloves-if-anything-make-hand-hygiene-worse?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">avoiding glove use</a></li> <li>A <a href="https://vhanhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID19-Approved-Cleaning-Products-VHANHUB.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRFelpXSmpNell5WkRFNSIsInQiOiJwc3NrY213T1pNdlA3ajhVNnJJQ3ZlekxQRGJmeG9reiszNUZrQzYyOVF6UWhtZzY4aVQ5dWc5T0FuZ2pyTEFWc2w0dlp5ZG9NSnJ5MzFWWjN0QWZDdz09In0%3D">list</a> of EPA- and CDC-approved cleaners and hand sanitizers</li> </ul><p>For questions we didn’t cover during the webinar, we will address those either in one-on-one discussions or in future communications from the Employer Solutions team.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1151467723_0.jpg?itok=JbZKensU" width="576" height="339" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 08 May 2020 14:53:31 +0000 lohrmase 96 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com 6 Guidelines for Developing a Return-to-Work Plan https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/6-guidelines-developing-return-work-plan <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">6 Guidelines for Developing a Return-to-Work Plan</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/01/2020 - 03:09</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/95" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to 6 Guidelines for Developing a Return-to-Work Plan"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Just as VUMC is making plans to <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-safety-first-when-planning-ahead">reintroduce some services</a>, we know that employers are working hard on plans to reopen shuttered aspects of their businesses. Here are a few resources to ensure your reestablished business remains a healthy work environment.</p> <p><strong>1. Create Policies to Protect Employees</strong></p> <p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html">safety guidelines</a> for essential workers are clear, but there is more leeway for other types of workers. Here are some guidelines for setting up policies that prioritize employees’ safety.</p> <ul><li>Temperature screening. <a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-patients-and-visitors">VUMC</a> and several other area employers screen employees' temperatures and ask a series of health questions to identify signs of possible COVID-19 infection before entering the workplace. The Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions team can help support businesses as they think through a temperature screening policy of their own, as well as offer “train the trainer” services to get those screening services up and running.</li> <li>Guidance for exposed employees. The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html">CDC</a> offers several timelines for when employees who show symptoms of COVID-19 or have a confirmed case of the disease may be allowed to return to work. </li> <li>Masking guidance. Develop a policy for whether you’ll require employees to wear a mask in the office and if they should bring their own. In a brief article for <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2764955">JAMA</a>, VUMC’s Dr. David Aronoff explains the benefits to wearing masks in public, the difference in types of masks and how to properly wear one.  </li> </ul><p><strong>2. Prioritize Daily Disinfecting and Sanitizing</strong></p> <p>To ensure your employees feel comfortable and safe performing their jobs during the pandemic:</p> <ul><li>Clean work stations and common areas following advice from the <a href="https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-04-13/interim-enforcement-response-plan-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19">Occupational Safety &amp; Health Administration</a>.</li> <li>Follow the comprehensive guide from the <a href="https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2">Environmental Protection Agency</a> on which disinfectants and cleaning supplies are best. </li> <li>Get clarification on your building’s enhanced cleaning and maintenance procedures and communicate those to your employees.</li> <li>Make sure to provide employees with plenty of antibacterial wipes, soap and hand sanitizer.</li> </ul><p><strong>3. Ensure Safe Distancing</strong></p> <p>VUMC has instituted <a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/sites/default/files/COVID%20Documents/Social%20Distancing%20Guidance.pdf">social distancing guidelines</a> for their facilities that could be adapted for other businesses. Here are some best practices:</p> <ul><li>Consider alternative scheduling policies that allow for more flexible work arrangements so that fewer employees occupy the office at the same time.</li> <li>Reconfigure work stations and common spaces to respect social distancing rules.</li> <li>If physical distancing is difficult, institute rotating or split shifts and staggered reporting times.</li> <li>If in-person meetings are essential, limit them to 10 people or less and keep participants at least 6 feet apart. </li> </ul><p><strong>4. Get Creative With Your Virtual Teams</strong></p> <p>Over the past weeks of mandated social distancing, many employers have already explored ways to collaborate and stay productive with virtual teams. Consider creative ways to conduct large meetings that were traditionally held in-person—could new technology options take the place of whiteboards for strategy and brainstorming needs? Consider online communication/collaboration tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack, which has compiled a helpful <em><a href="https://slackhq.com/ultimate-guide-remote-meetings">Guide to Remote Meetings</a></em>.</p> <p><strong>5. Support Your Remote Workforce</strong></p> <p>If many of your employees can continue to work productively from home, ensure they have what they need—everything from proper supplies and equipment to <a href="https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/strategies-keeping-employees-healthier-home">health and wellness support</a>—so that they can conduct business successfully with as little stress as possible. The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/case-studies/engaging-remote-employees.html">CDC</a> offers strategies for engaging remote employees in workplace health and wellness programs, <a href="https://www.mysouthernhealth.com/practice-self-care-times-uncertainty/">MySouthern Health</a> is a go-to source for healthy living strategies, and <em><a href="https://hbr.org/2020/03/15-questions-about-remote-work-answered%20HBR">Harvard Business Review</a> </em>answers 15 of the most common questions about remote work. </p> <p><strong>6. Communicate Regularly and Encourage Feedback</strong></p> <p>So many accidental, tangential conversations happen when all staff is working in an office, and some of that important communication can be lost with remote teams. Make up the gaps by regularly communicating with your employees to see how projects are going and ask if anyone needs help or additional direction. Err on the side of overcommunication, particularly given such persistent uncertainty.</p> <p>Stay open and transparent on new policies. These policies are always better received when employees feel like they’re allowed to give respectful yet honest feedback. Send surveys and conduct regular one-on-one calls when possible to gauge your employees’ reactions to new safety protocols. The <a href="https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/pages/communicable-diseases.aspx">Society for Human Resource Management</a> offers several resources to make such policy-making easier.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/girl_sitting_at_desk.jpg?itok=2yZvQAqG" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 01 May 2020 08:09:08 +0000 roberjm7 95 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com COVID-19 Antibody Testing: Q&A With Dr. David Aronoff on Importance of Validity & Accuracy https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-antibody-testing-qa-dr-david-aronoff-importance-validity-accuracy <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">COVID-19 Antibody Testing: Q&amp;A With Dr. David Aronoff on Importance of Validity &amp; Accuracy</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/30/2020 - 10:32</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/94" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to COVID-19 Antibody Testing: Q&amp;A With Dr. David Aronoff on Importance of Validity &amp; Accuracy"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Public health officials have cautioned in recent days that antibody testing isn’t a “silver bullet” to discovering immunity to COVID-19. In a scientific brief issued Friday, the <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/immunity-passports-in-the-context-of-covid-19https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/immunity-passports-in-the-context-of-covid-19">World Health Organization</a> warned that people who have recovered from the coronavirus are not necessarily protected from catching the disease again. “There is no evidence yet that people who have had Covid-19 will not get a second infection," the brief says. </p> <p>Though it isn’t wise to use antibody, or serological, tests as a sole measure of determining when it’s safe to reopen the economy, several methodologies are currently under evaluation at VUMC to potentially get us closer to understanding the relationship between seropositivity—the positive presence of an antibody—and immunity.</p> <p> “We anticipate offering serologic testing for select patient populations in the near future,” said David Aronoff, MD, Addison B. Scoville Chair in Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, “although all of the relevant details have not yet been determined due to the dynamic nature of the situation.”</p> <p>For the latest perspective on the value of COVID-19 antibody testing, read on for more of Dr. Aronoff’s answers to common questions.</p> <p><strong>What is antibody, or serologic, testing?</strong></p> <p>After suffering from an infection, the body typically develops an antibody response to the particular pathogen that caused it. A serological test can detect these antibodies in the blood and can traditionally measure whether a person has been infected with that pathogen.</p> <p><strong>There are many unknowns about antibody tests for COVID-19. What can a positive serology test tell us—and not tell us—about COVID-19?</strong></p> <p>Two of the major benefits of measuring antibodies to the COVID-19 virus is to 1) confirm to an individual that they have been infected with this virus in the past and 2) understand how many people in a population have already been infected. A third potential benefit is that someday we hope to know whether the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 means that person won’t getting re-infected with the same virus or related viruses.</p> <p>Unfortunately, right now we don’t yet know for certain whether COVID-19 antibodies indicate immunity. Although it is likely that infection does impart some degree of protection from future reinfection, we do not know how complete or durable the immune response is. With time, we will learn more about whether a recovered patient is susceptible to reinfection and how mild or severe such an infection might be.</p> <p><strong>What testing is being developed for the detection of COVID-19 antibodies?</strong></p> <p>Various laboratory methods are being developed to detect COVID-19 antibodies. However, the rapid emergence of the virus means some tests aren’t undergoing the same degree of rigor that diagnostic tests are typically subjected to in the United States before they enter clinical care.</p> <p>The FDA has authorized a small but growing number of tests to be used for emergency care, and presently all serologic testing for patient care in the United States is required to be performed in accredited clinical laboratory environments. However, many other tests are being introduced to the commercial market without passing stringent clinical and analytical validation.</p> <p><strong>What are the potential limitations of serologic testing?</strong></p> <p>In addition to the key question of whether COVID-19 antibodies signal immunity, serological testing also presents additional uncertainties. For the so-called “rapid” serologic tests flooding the market, the World Health Organization currently recommends that such tests only be utilized for research purposes, not clinical decision-making. That’s because:</p> <ul><li>False-positive results can occur. It is possible for a serologic test to yield a “positive” result even if a person has never been infected with COVID-19. Occasionally, a person may possess antibodies directed against one microbe, but that cross-react during serologic tests for different pathogens. Additional research is needed to determine what percentage of non-infected individuals might possess cross-reactive antibodies that could lead to these false-positive results.</li> <li>False-negative tests can occur. Even in a patient with a documented history of COVID-19 infection, it is possible for their blood not to generate a strong enough signal for a positive serology result. For instance, if a patient cannot generate a robust antibody response due to a suppressed immune system, these false-negative results can occur. Even in healthy people, the strength and duration of the antibody response can vary for different pathogens and between individuals. If a person recovers from infection but does not have measurable antibodies in their blood, that may or may not reflect their risk for reinfection.</li> </ul><p><strong>What’s the danger of even a small percentage of false-negative or false-positive results?</strong></p> <p>Getting bad data can be confusing and harmful because it gives people a false sense of security. The wrong kind of information can even be dangerous.</p> <p>Even though we're in the throes of a pandemic, we have to allow time to establish the accuracy and validity of tests before we officially roll things out, especially when lots of potentially invalid tests are being pushed onto the market. VUMC’s cross-departmental COVID-19 serology team—made up of experts in pathology, microbiology, immunology and infectious disease—are working closely with commercial vendors that manufacture tests for detecting these antibodies and are in the process of validating those in our accredited lab. The goal is that when Vanderbilt tells patients that they have or haven’t had COVID-19 infection, that the data is as valid as possible.</p> <p>We will have answers to all these questions in time, but we can’t make assumptions right out of the gate.</p> <p><strong>How is VUMC learning from other medical systems in the United States and abroad to help deal with the pandemic?</strong></p> <p>We're definitely learning a lot from our colleagues around the world, and we’ve been involved in frequent conversations with leaders in infectious diseases all around the United States, learning from them about their experiences and how they're managing patients. It’s been a very good way for us in infectious diseases to support each other, and the same is happening across all disciplines of medicine and nursing that are dealing with this pandemic.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Please join us virtually on Thursday, May 7, from 1–2 p.m. CDT, for a webinar on <br /> Back-to-Work Safety for Employers</strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>The webinar will feature insights and expert perspective from <br /> VUMC’s David Aronoff, MD, Addison B. Scoville Chair in Medicine and <br /> Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases.</strong><br />  </p> <p class="text-align-center"><a href="https://select.vanderbilthealth.com/6100-314-0140_COVIDQA_2-B2B_01-Registration.html"><strong>Click here to register. </strong></a></p> <p align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: medium; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif; caret-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><p></p></span></b></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1151467723.jpg?itok=QYqyYhja" width="576" height="339" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:32:35 +0000 roberjm7 94 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com COVID-19: Safety First When Planning Ahead https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/covid-19-safety-first-when-planning-ahead <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">COVID-19: Safety First When Planning Ahead</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 04/24/2020 - 16:09</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/93" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to COVID-19: Safety First When Planning Ahead"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> <style class="WebKit-mso-list-quirks-style" type="text/css"> <!--/*--><![CDATA[/* ><!--*/ <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; 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mso-level-text:; mso-level-tab-stop:3.5in; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-.25in; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Wingdings;} @list l0:level8 {mso-level-number-format:bullet; mso-level-text:; mso-level-tab-stop:4.0in; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-.25in; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Wingdings;} @list l0:level9 {mso-level-number-format:bullet; mso-level-text:; mso-level-tab-stop:4.5in; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-.25in; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Wingdings;} --> /*--><!]]>*/ </style></p> <p><p></p></p> <p>As much as we’re proud of our work treating and researching COVID-19, we’re eager to return to meeting all of the healthcare needs of our region as soon as it is safe for our employees, patients and community. The flattening curve is a sign that we can start planning ahead—with <a href="http://voice.vumc.org/can-get-together-family-friends-maybe-soon-not-yet-says-vumc-expert/">safety as our cornerstone</a>.<p></p></p> <p><strong>How VUMC is Approaching a Future “Reopening”</strong><p></p></p> <p>We have several teams diligently working on how to safely reintroduce some healthcare services that have been postponed due to COVID-19. Though we’re just in the planning stages, we are working closely with city and state leadership on the best approaches and timing for resuming non-emergent and elective services at our facilities.</p> <p>VUMC’s health policy experts are producing <a href="https://news.vumc.org/2020/04/09/vanderbilt-health-policy-covid-19-model-finds-evidence-of-flattening-curve-recommends-distancing-policies-continue/">detailed models</a> on COVID-19’s impact in Tennessee, and their research is informing the decisions of public health officials and policymakers at the state and local levels, including the decisionmakers who are part of Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s <a href="https://www.asafenashville.org">COVID-19 Response group</a>. We’re also taking a close look at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) <a href="https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-flexibility-reopen-essential-non-covid-services.pdf">recommendations</a> and other federal guidelines around the re-introduction of non-emergent, non-COVID healthcare services. Underpinning all decisions is the message from VUMC infectious disease experts that continued distancing has a profound impact in limiting the spread of the virus.</p> <p><strong>Continue to Lean on Vanderbilt Health for Quality Care</strong><p></p></p> <p>Though COVID-19 mitigation and management have commanded significant resources, many parts of Vanderbilt Health remain open for business for minor injuries and illnesses not related to the coronavirus. Here are a few convenient ways to access care right now:</p> <ul><li><strong>Vanderbilt Health’s nine <a href="https://www.myhealthwalkin.com/program/vanderbilt-health-walk-clinics">walk-in clinics</a></strong> in Davidson, Sumner and Williamson counties offer urgent medical care for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries that need to be treated immediately. </li> <li><a href="https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/vhoc/?ref_id=vanderbilthealthoncalldotcom"><strong>Vanderbilt Health OnCall (VHOC)</strong></a> provides care in the comfort and safety of home. The service is available seven days a week for adults 18 years and older with non-emergency medical conditions. VHOC providers treat everything from simple injuries like sprains and strains to minor illnesses like strep and sinus infections. For patients with confirmed COVID-19, VHOC can also provide symptom management and evaluation for worsening symptoms. VHOC is now offering telehealth visits to My Health at Vanderbilt patients with insurance in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.</li> <li><strong><a href="https://www.myhealthwalkin.com/program/vanderbilt-health-clinic-walgreens">Vanderbilt Health Clinic at Walgreens</a></strong>. These 14 clinics across Middle Tennessee are staffed by Vanderbilt nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Open seven days a week with evening and weekend hours, they treat most minor illnesses and injuries.</li> <li><strong><a href="https://www.childrenshospitalvanderbilt.org/program/vanderbilt-childrens-after-hours-clinics">Vanderbilt Children’s After-Hours Clinics</a>.</strong> Staffed by board-certified pediatricians, these clinics offer urgent care for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries for children of all ages, including infants.</li> <li><strong>Telehealth Appointments.</strong> <a href="https://go.forrester.com/press-newsroom/us-virtual-care-visits-to-soar-to-more-than-1-billion/">Forrester Research</a> predicts that virtual care interactions will top 1 billion by the end of 2020. Vanderbilt Health is seeing its own spike in virtual visits as an increasing number of patients are taking advantage of its easy-to-use <a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/your-appointment-vanderbilt-health">telehealth option</a>, particularly for annual wellness visits, minor urgent care, medication management, behavioral health visits, and pediatric and new parent visits. View this new how-to <a href="https://youtu.be/2Nzr2whoCoQ">video</a> to learn more about accessing telehealth services</li> <li><strong>Enhanced Emergency Department (ED) protocols. </strong>If an employee or family member experiences a life-threatening emergency during the pandemic, rest assured that VUMC’s adult and pediatric EDs are safe and secure places for treatment. Staff members are screening all patients and caregivers before they enter the building to identify possible COVID-19 cases and refer them to alternate locations. These <a href="https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-patients-and-visitors">enhanced protocols</a> minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our EDs and keep them safe for patients needing emergent care.<p></p></li> <li><strong>COVID-19 Hotlines.</strong> And, of course, if you or your employees need COVID-19 care, please call one of the following hotlines, which will conduct a phone assessment to determine if an in-person assessment or test is needed:<p></p> <ul><li>Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 Public Information Hotlines: <a href="tel:8335562476%20">(833) 556-2476 </a>or <a href="tel:8778572945">(877) 857-2945</a>, available daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.<p></p></li> <li>Metro Nashville COVID-19 Hotline: <a href="tel:6158627777">(615) 862-7777,</a> answered 7 a.m.-7 p.m.<p></p></li> <li>Vanderbilt Hotline for employees and patients with symptoms:<a href="tel:8883120847"> (888) 312-0847</a>. This line is available daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.<p></p></li> </ul></li> </ul><p>We’ll be sure to inform you as VUMC reintroduces even more services to enhance your employees’ health and well-being.<p></p></p> <p> </p> <div> <div> <div id="_com_8" language="JavaScript"> </div> </div> </div> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-barista-posts-full-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/barista_posts_full_image/public/iStock-1167456304.jpg?itok=VGSJHAtL" width="576" height="384" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-barista-posts-full-image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Fri, 24 Apr 2020 21:09:05 +0000 roberjm7 93 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com AllianceBernstein Partners with VUMC Psychologist for Mental Health Podcast Series https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com/employer-insights-blog/alliancebernstein-partners-vumc-psychologist-mental-health-podcast-series <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">AllianceBernstein Partners with VUMC Psychologist for Mental Health Podcast Series</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/users/roberjm7" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">roberjm7</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/23/2020 - 13:42</span> <a href="/blog-post-rss/92" class="feed-icon" title="Subscribe to AllianceBernstein Partners with VUMC Psychologist for Mental Health Podcast Series"> RSS: <i class="fa fa-rss-square"></i> </a> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Employers have played an important public health role during COVID-19 by being megaphones for accurate and timely information about the pandemic with their employees and families. One area business leader, <a href="https://www.alliancebernstein.com">AllianceBernstein</a>, recently partnered with <a href="https://www.vanderbilthealth.com">Vanderbilt University Medical Center</a> (VUMC) to share strategies for overcoming mental health challenges employees may be facing during the pandemic.</p> <p>In its six-part “Ask the Psychologist” podcast series, AllianceBernstein’s Head of Human Capital Cathy Spencer talked with VUMC’s Lindsey Colman McKernan, Ph.D., about the stress and emotional toll caused by COVID-19. Dr. McKernan, Clinical Assistant Professor in VUMC’s Department of Psychiatry, explains what stress does to the brain, gives ideas for healthy coping tactics and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about strengthening mental health during times of sustained anxiety. </p> <p>“The anxiety and stress and uncertainty that you might be feeling are normal reactions to these unexpected times and to all of this transition and change,” she assures listeners. But there are bright spots to focus on: “We have a great deal of control over helping our mood, our energy and adjusting how we think about what’s next,” she says. “Just taking care of your body can have a great impact on your overall well-being and your ability to tolerate long period of stress.”</p> <p>She gives practical ideas for “bolstering your overall foundational of health,” such as getting regular exercise, practicing yoga and mindfulness, prioritizing good sleep patterns, making sure your diet is balanced and your water intake is sufficient, and building routines to help you feel more in control.<p></p></p> <p>She also discusses children’s mental health and connecting with family members and others who might need special attention during this time of heightened stress. Listen in on the following sessions:<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/2VoASXM">Session 1</a>: Common Mental Health Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic (8:18 minutes)<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/2xQp9Ii">Session 2</a>: Social Distancing &amp; Your Brain (6:32 minutes)<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/2KpH1wx">Session 3</a>: What Else Are We Feeling? (15:03 minutes)<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/3cHQ9ZD">Session 4</a>: Supporting and Strengthening One’s Mental Health (21:50 minutes)<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/2KoSj48">Session 5</a>:<a> </a>Special Concerns With Children (13:33 minutes)<p></p></p> <p><a href="https://bcove.video/3eHhuwv">Session 6</a>: Groups Needing Special Care (8:40 minutes)<p></p></p> <p>The <a href="https://vanderbilthealth.com/EmployerSolutions/">Employer Solutions</a> team salutes AllianceBernstein for connecting with Vanderbilt Health to carry these important health messages to their employees and to greater community.<p></p><p></p></p> <div> <div> <div id="_com_6" language="JavaScript"> <p><p> </p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-lockdown-auth field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Lockdown Auth</div> <div class="field__item">1</div> </div> Thu, 23 Apr 2020 18:42:50 +0000 roberjm7 92 at https://employersolutions.vanderbilthealth.com