Hospitals Prepare for Possible COVID-19 Winter Flare with 2 Active Variants – .

Hospitals Prepare for Possible COVID-19 Winter Flare with 2 Active Variants – .

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was joined on Saturday by medical leaders and UMMC staff to urge the community to get vaccinated or receive boosters ahead of an expected spate of COVID cases -19 this winter. Dozens of nurses and doctors joined Jackson Lee at UMMC Tidwell Hospital for a vaccine testing event.
Staff and volunteers distributed boxes filled with snacks, supplies and hand sanitizer to those on their way to the drive-thru vaccination and test site. The hospital has four locations across Houston. Stephen Williams, director of the Houston Health Department, said Tidwell’s location is vital to the community it serves.

“It’s really important that we have a presence in our communities of color,” Williams. “Only 51% of everyone in Houston is vaccinated. Only 61% of those who are eligible to be vaccinated are vaccinated. Now when you start looking at African Americans and Hispanics, the vaccination rate for African Americans is only in the middle -30%. What this tells me is that we have a lot of work to do. We in the health department know we can’t do it alone. We must depend on partners like the UMMC and we expect all of you to answer our calls. “

As the hospital system braces for an anticipated increase in the number of cases, it also faces a crisis of its own. UMMC is on the verge of losing its contract with Medicare and Medicaid.

SEE RELATED STORY: UMMC is Days away from Losing Medicare and Medicaid Contract

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, released the following statement this week:“In this case, CMS discovered that the UMMC, despite proposed corrective actions, does not meet CMS basic health and safety requirements. The hospital still does not meet Medicare requirements after three follow-up surveys. “

UMMC Tidwell staff say they have made the necessary changes and have scheduled a meeting with CMS next week. This occurs a few days before the contract ends on December 11.

“We are still working with all the problems that we have encountered. We solve them, ”said CEO Dr Farida Moeen,“ As we move forward, we will never give up. “

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