July 30: This would be a good day to watch the markets as several healthcare companies deliver their quarterly financials. Among providers, there’s HCA Healthcare and Acadia Healthcare. Insurers Molina Healthcare and WellCare Health Plans are also slated to post their results. But pharma companies will dominate the day, with Amgen, Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Merck & Co. and Pfizer all set to release their numbers.
Aug. 1: The Federal Communications Commission will consider changes to its Rural Health Care Program, which helps providers get broadband and other communications services at discounted rates. The goal is to help rural providers boost their use of telemedicine. The FCC in December 2017 began to re-evaluate the program, which has grown in popularity. Among other things, the commission will consider changes that streamline how discounted rates are calculated; create a database of rates providers can use to determine how much support they can expect to get from the program; and target funding to areas most in need of assistance should the program hit its funding cap. Coincidentally, the August open meeting will also see a vote on a proposal to spend $20.4 billion to bring high-speed broadband service to rural America.
August: With school (gasp!) starting for many in a few weeks, it is worth noting that August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a series of social media tips, as well as key messages for providers to tap into. That includes messages on vaccines being “safe and effective” and that “vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat.”