MHAC’s COVID-19 Updates and Resources: 7/10-7/16

In addition to an evolving COVID-19 resource page, MHAC is continuing to collect and share updates on COVID-19 from state government, federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, and other key stakeholders.

These updates are to help and inform a wide range of individuals and partners, including communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly.

Please see the latest updates below:

  • Executive Office of Elder Affairs Releases Family Caregiver Resource Guide 

EOEA has created the “Where Do I Start” Resource for Family Caregivers” intended to assist family caregivers connect to available resources the community. The guide leads with MassOptions, which is a free state-sponsored resource that makes accessing community services and supports simple. It is specifically designed for people looking for help with aging and disability services.

  • U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Seniors – A Look at Racial Health Disparities

The John A. Hartford Foundation blog reports that the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is holding a Hearing on July 21 on, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Seniors: A Look at Racial Health Disparities.”

For more information and to watch the Hearing on July 21, click here.

  • National Academy of Social Insurance Reports on Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Access

The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the U.S. health care system. With the highest
unemployment rates since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have lost employer-sponsored health insurance. Since the beginning of the pandemic, visits to primary care physicians and outpatient specialists have declined, and many
hospitals have postponed or cancelled elective procedures.

A research brief from the National Academy of Social Insurance reveals implication and impacts on Medicare and Medicaid, long-term services and supports, and diverse older adults access to telehealth, among other issues.

  • Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care in Massachusetts through Telehealth: Sustaining Progress Post-Pandemic

Prior to COVID-19, utilization of telebehavioral health had not gained widespread spread traction in Massachusetts despite its potential as a means to dramatically improve access to behavioral health care services, particularly for vulnerable populations.

A new BCBS Foundation report provides policymakers and other behavioral health stakeholders with an overview of the state’s current telebehavioral health landscape; a description of the attributes of an optimal telebehavioral health care delivery model; and a summary of the common barriers to provider and consumer adoption of telebehavioral health services in Massachusetts.

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