Can Tech Help Re-Open the States?

By Vanessa Grossl, CSG policy analyst

Contact tracing is a pillar in disease control that has been around for decades and is commonly used for a number of infections. In light of COVID-19, a few states have moved toward using technology to help monitor and track residents who choose to download their apps and opt-in. States that have implemented the voluntary cellphone tracking apps or that have contracted with developers to help build apps see this as a way to help build confidence and reopen their economies. Research has shown that so far, these contract tracing apps are off to a slow start in states. South Dakota has the highest participation rate — about 2% of residents have the state’s app on their phones. 

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Federal Fiscal Response to COVID-19: Economic Impact Payment debit cards

By Sierra Hatfield, CSG policy analyst


  • Not everyone has received their stimulus relief, therefore the federal government is trying an innovative option — loaded debit cards.
  • The debit cards are expected to reach four million Americans via mail and will provide immediate access to funds once activated.
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States are Working to Help Struggling Restaurant Industry

By Sierra Hatfield, CSG policy analyst

It’s no secret that small businesses in America are struggling in the current economic reality created by COVID-19. It is a reality that has spawned two massive rounds of federal loans to keep small businesses alive and has caused many states to enter into guessing games — what is the outlook of reopening their economies now? Will more people get sick? If they reopen later, will there be any ma and pa shops left?  Will their customers be financially stable enough to return in the first place? These are the questions faced by all in the small business industry, especially restaurants.

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CSG Associates in Action: CVS Health begins drone delivery in Florida

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states.

In an effort to keep those in high risk populations healthy and safe, this month CVS Health, a CSG Leadership Circle member, will begin offering drone delivery of medications in partnership with UPS to The Villages in central Florida under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules. The rules allow the authority to operate through the pandemic and explore ongoing needs as they arise after that period. The operation could expand to include deliveries from two additional CVS pharmacies in the area.

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Federal Fiscal Response to COVID-19: Students + Stimulus Money


Because college students aren’t eligible to receive stimulus money from the CARES Act unless they are financially independent from their parents, in many ways this group of young adults — over 18 but not fully independent — have been left out of the millions of Americans receiving financial assistance from the federal government. Many are struggling with unemployment and a jarring shift to a new way of academic life. While these students will not get stimulus money from the CARES Act, some will receive assistance that has been allocated to and will be distributed by their colleges.

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CSG Associates in Action: Philips and UK HealthCare Launch Kentucky’s first eICU Clinical Command Center

Following natural disasters and in times of national crisis, America’s private sector steps up to aid the states. We are proud of the herculean efforts of CSG Leadership Circle and Associates, our private sector members, as we combat COVID-19 together. Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states.

Philips Healthcare, a CSG Associate and a global leader in health technology, and UK HealthCare, the clinical enterprise of the University of Kentucky, announced a collaboration to create Kentucky’s only operating clinical command center for tele-critical care and operational optimization. Leveraging Philips’ acute telehealth platform eCareManager, UK HealthCare is implementing a centralized virtual care model to help providers detect risk of patient deterioration so they can intervene earlier and help improve care outcomes for the organization’s sickest patients. The application of virtual monitoring — eICU — will help aid UK Healthcare’s teams in care provision for COVID-19 patients.

Philips’ eICU program is built around eCareManager, which uses advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to synthesize patient data and deliver actionable insights to support proactive care. Using this comprehensive system, UK HealthCare will provide 24/7 remote monitoring and access to specialists for patients in the neurological, trauma, surgery, post-anesthesia care, medical intensive care, emergency department and cardiovascular patient care venues. The institution also aims to improve bed utilization and patient flow across its 160 ICU beds at two hospitals.

The eICU allows off-site clinicians to monitor ICU patients 24 hours, 365 days a year through audio, video, patient monitoring and predictive analytics technology, allowing remote clinicians to continuously monitor ICU patients for early warning signals or acute problems. These offsite clinicians then interact with bedside physicians and nurses to consult on patient care. One centralized care team can monitor and support a large number of ICU beds across geographical locations. Now, one in eight adult ICU beds in the United States are being monitored through eICU. The eICU is primarily used in rural, community hospitals to ensure proper patient monitoring and care in ICUs where there are clinician/doctor shortages.

Since COVID-19 is predominantly a respiratory illness, patients with more severe cases may require ICU care. eCareManager acuity-based scoring tools monitor a patient’s condition to detect subtle deteriorations prior to becoming adverse events. Predictive AI-enabled algorithms such as Sentry Score, designed to focus on a patients cardiovascular and Respiratory systems, provide clinicians in the telehealth center with predictive insights into those patients with the highest probability of requiring an intervention in the next 60 minutes. As bed availability and critical decisions on patient throughput are required, eCareManager integrates as part of its Clinical Performance Applications Suite the Discharge Readiness Score, a predictive algorithm that provides clinicians objective scoring on a patient’s risk of death or readmission within 48 hours of a planned discharge.

“In these most challenging times, healthcare organizations need digital technology to enhance the patient experience, improve health outcomes, lower the cost of care, and enhance the work-life of care providers now more than ever before,” said Roy Jakobs, chief business leader of Connected Care and member of the Executive Committee at Royal Philips. “Partnering with UK HealthCare to address these concerns for the sickest patients demonstrates Philips’ commitment to deliver unique approaches to help meet the demand of healthcare’s greatest challenges.”

“This partnership is vital to our foundational vision of high value care. Leveraging technology and highly developed clinical algorithms will aid our progressive high-performance health system,” said Dr. Colleen Swartz, vice president for hospital operations at UK HealthCare. “Especially during this time of increased need for very specific isolation and care models in managing COVID-19 patients, the application of virtual monitoring will aid our teams in care provision. Philips is an essential partner in our efforts to progress care across the state.”

“I applaud the launch of Kentucky’s first eICU clinic by CSG Associate member Philips Healthcare and UK Healthcare. It is just this kind of public-private partnership that ensures we properly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for modeling collaboration and care,” said Kentucky state Rep. Kelly Flood.

Philips tele-critical care platforms are available around the globe with clinical informatics applications supporting bedside, unit and virtual care delivery models. For more information on how Philips is addressing the Coronavirus, please visit the Philips centralized COVID-19 hub:!=