The COVID-19 pandemic prompted state and federal policy changes that enabled behavioral health providers to rapidly shift from in-person to telehealth visits to continue treating clients. In this brief, a team led by Angela Beck, Ph.D., M.P.H., clinical assistant professor at U-M School of Public Health, examines Michigan providers’ experiences with virtual care and outlines policy considerations to sustain and improve access to telebehavioral health.
In just one year, COVID-19 has killed more than 400,000 Americans, and infected more than 24 million others. But a new study led by Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of internal medicine, and Paula Lantz, Ph.D., M.S., M.A., professor of public policy, shows just how unevenly those deaths and cases have played out across the country. 
A team led by Scott Flanders, M.D., U-M professor of internal medicine, and program director for the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium, engaged key stakeholders to design and implement a plan to improve clinical care for critically-ill COVID-19 patients in hospitals throughout Michigan. In partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Value Partnerships, the team quickly created the Mi-COVID19 Initiative, a collaborative quality initiative (CQI) venture and registry focused on COVID19 patients in more than 40 hospitals across the state.
Anupindi appointed to National Academies board
Ravi Anupindi, M.E., M.S., Ph.D., professor of operations research and management, joins the Board of Global Health (BGH) of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The BGH pursues policies and programs in global health; health problems in developing countries; and health issues of mutual concern to the U.S. and other industrialized and industrializing societies. 
Somers appointed to NIH committee on autoimmune diseases
Emily Somers, Ph.D., Sc.M., associate professor of internal medicine, was recently appointed to a new ad hoc committee that will conduct a congressionally mandated study of NIH research on autoimmune diseases.
Bell appointed to second term on FEMA advisory council
Sue Anne Bell, Ph.D., M.S.N., M.Sc, FNP-BC, assistant professor of nursing, has been appointed to a second term (2020-2023) as a health scientist on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council. The council advises FEMA on emergency management and writes an annual report highlighting problems and possible solutions.

Related: Scientific American article, Advisers Rebuke FEMA for Racial Disparities in Disaster Aid 
The U-M National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA) publishes its data for public use on an ongoing basis to help advance research on aging. A new wave of NPHA data is now available for download at the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA). NACDA's Open Aging Repository is a free, self-publishing option for gerontological researchers to share their research. 
The Latest
Ending the pandemic could depend on following the evidence about what it takes to support and encourage preventive health care. Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine, reflects on the uncertainty around the effectiveness of a single COVID-19 vaccine dose and the potential for increased intervals between the first and second doses.  
As many health systems turn to patient portals for vaccine scheduling, many people over 65 may need help setting theirs up, especially those with lower incomes and education levels, according to newly analyzed data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. The poll found that 45% of adults aged 65 to 80, and 42% of all adults aged 50 to 80, said they had not set up an account with their health provider’s portal system. 
About IHPI
The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
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  • Improving the health of communities
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