ISSUE 143 | February 9, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA among seven states without telehealth legislation
Telehealth has enabled healthcare providers and patients to navigate all sorts of challenges throughout the pandemic.

Now that COVID-19 is nearing an endemic stage, however, telehealth service is in flux.

Insurance companies dictate whether policies cover such visits, and some require rigorous standards that providers lack time to navigate. 

New report reveals lessons from Philadelphia’s homeownership gap
Homeownership in minority and marginalized communities is hindered by income and housing costs, but there are some strategies to encourage homeownership among those who can afford it.

Improved lending practices and more diversity among real estate agents could help the situation.

A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia outlines various challenges and potential solutions.

Family caregivers essential to the new healthcare workforce 
COVID-19 has elevated the need for high-quality elder care while simultaneously interrupting efforts to achieve it.

Pennsylvania has received $1.3 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to improve home-based and community-based service systems.

Funding should facilitate greater access to care, growth within the healthcare and social service workforce, and additional family supports.

Research Spotlight!
During the first year of the pandemic, The Institute studied the prevalence of telehealth services in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Learn about challenges observed, opportunities identified, and recommendations for the future.
From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Hospital implements unique approach to assist vulnerable populations
Research has shown extensively that stable housing improves health outcomes and subsequently reduces costs to communities.

One Minnesota hospital is renovating an old hotel with the support of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the City of Duluth, the county’s Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The hotel will provide housing for seniors and individuals struggling with homelessness, while connecting them with health care and other supportive services. 

Public Health Forward develops strategy for public health reform 
A collaboration of national associations, private foundations, and the CDC Foundation developed a report on the modernization of the public health system.

The contributors focus on six core areas – financing; data and information technology; workforce; public health laws and governance; partnerships; and community engagement.

Several frameworks, along with evidence-based policy, inform the recommendations.

Shift workers and their families still struggle with income and employment
According to a survey of 100,000 retail and restaurant workers, unpredictable work schedules remain problematic.

The problem existed in a pre-COVID world, but it has since been exacerbated by challenges such as childcare availability.

Over 66 percent of (mostly low-income) workers receive fewer than two weeks of notice regarding schedule changes, and 58 percent are subject to last minute changes. 

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