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ESSENTIA HEALTH

Essentia Health in Fargo is among the first to use a robotic endoscopy apparatus that allows low-risk access to hard-to-reach lung nodules in early development.
Prior to the pandemic, virtual doctor's visits were limited to a small set of services. That was until former President Donald Trump directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to add more than 80 new telehealth services to the list of services covered by Medicare -- and to reimburse them at the same rate as in-person services. That change allowed for the expansion of telehealth, but raised new problems for providers.
Regulations posed obstacles before the pandemic. For some, the question is will it continue even after the pandemic passes. Options for virtual visits, video check-ins, are now more numerous than ever before. For medical providers it has been a way for all types of care and particularly a way to connect with those who deal with anxiety, depression and substance use.
Minnesota hospitals that ranked in the bottom 25% nationally for preventing infections and other illness gained while under care included regional facilities owned by Mayo Clinic, Essentia, Fairview and CentraCare. The facilities will lose 1% on Medicare payments for the coming year.

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The pandemic has changed nursing, raising questions about the future of nursing and most immediately, who wants to even be a nurse. This crisis in nursing is causing nursing educators to quickly rethink how they train their students and making health systems rethink how they recruit and retain nurses.
These traveling nurses book their temporary contracts, usually about 13 weeks, through various agencies and can make as much in a week as a regular staff nurse earns in a month, according to one of the travelers. However, a human resources director at Essentia Health said much of the demand is being driven by the pandemic and, once the case numbers recede, many of those contractual positions will no longer be necessary.
Of five major health systems across Minnesota and the Dakotas, only Sanford Health requires some transplant patients or donors be vaccinated against COVID-19. For now.
Dr. Greg Davis said five of the 10 ICU beds at the Brainerd hospital were occupied Friday by people suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID-19, one of whom was approximately 30 days into their stay. None were vaccinated.
Medical exams such as mammograms, colonoscopies and pap smears were put off by some people during the coronavirus pandemic because of their concerns related to the in-person services. But with COVID-19 vaccines and masking more common now, local health care providers want people to resume the potentially life-saving visits to the doctor.
The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus we've seen so far, accounting for about 95% of current cases in Minnesota. Its symptoms are mostly the same, but can be more severe and take less time to worsen to the point of requiring hospitalization.

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Health care providers in the U.S. and region face the same question of whether to require employee COVID-19 vaccinations that other employers do. But the up-close and personal nature of health care work makes for a unique point of consideration that employers in other industries may not need to contemplate.
Dr. Peter Henry and Dr. Rob Westin, the chief medical officers for Essentia Health and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center,respectively, both urge vaccinations as soon as possible and to get tested if people have any symptoms of COVID-19.
The telehealth explosion during the pandemic upended its role in health care. Telehealth isn’t just a niche player anymore, but a crucial and growing part of the way health systems take care of their patients. It’s become clear: Telehealth will shape the future of health care, not just for people in rural areas, but for everyone.

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