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Tag: 2023 News

Four California Hospitals Score “F” in Hospital Safety Evaluation

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit driving a movement for patient safety founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, just released its fall 2023 Hospital Safety Grades, assigning a letter grade to nearly 3,000 general hospitals on how well they prevent medical errors, accidents and infections.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients. It is fully transparent and free to the public, and grades are updated biannually in the fall and in the spring.

The latest grades show hospitals reducing health care-acquired infections (HAIs) post-pandemic, after significant increases in infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cycle, nearly 30% of hospitals earned an “A,” 24% earned a “B,” 39% earned a “C,” 7% earned a “D,” and less than 1% earned an “F.”

Out of 3000 hospitals surveyed, 11 of them were given a score of “F.” Four of those 11 are in California.

– – Memorial Hospital of Gardena
– – Mission Community Hospital (Panorama City)
– – Pacifica Hospital of the Valley (Sun Valley)
– – Providence St. Mary Medical Center (Apple Valley)

New York is the state with the second most on the “F” list with two hospitals receiving an “F” grade.

Utah is the state with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals in the country this fall. After Utah, the top ten states for “A” hospitals are: Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Connecticut, Montana, Tennessee, Florida and Texas.

“Now that we have pre- and post-pandemic data for patient safety measures, we are encouraged by the improvement in infections and applaud hospitals for reversing the disturbing infection spike we saw during the pandemic,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “However, there’s still more work to be done. It’s deeply concerning that patient reports about their health care experience continues to decline.”

Second Owner of Fresno Sleep Clinic Pleads Guilty

Jeremy Gober, 42, of Hanford, pleaded guilty on November 6 to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft charges for submitting more than $1.5 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal for sleep studies, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Jeremy Gober co-owned and co-operated Got Sleep Inc., which operated sleep clinics in Fresno and Orange Counties in California. Sleep clinics perform diagnostic sleep studies to identify disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

According to court documents, between August 2016 and July 2020, Gober caused Got Sleep to submit thousands of claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal for sleep studies that were not actually performed on patients. The claims also stated falsely that the patients had been referred for the sleep studies by physicians with whom Gober had previously worked. This was done because Medicare and Medi-Cal will not pay for a sleep study unless the patient was referred by a physician.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.

U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba is scheduled to sentence Jeremy Gober on March 4, 2024. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for the health care fraud conviction and an additional, mandatory two years in prison for the identity theft conviction.

In September 2023, Jeremy Gober’s brother, Travis Gober, pleaded guilty to similar health care fraud and aggravated identity theft charges related to other sleep clinics in the Central Valley. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 16, 2024. Travis Gober faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for the health care fraud conviction, and an additional, mandatory two years in prison for the identity theft conviction.

Mixed Industry Reaction to President Biden AI Executive Order

Late last month, President Biden issued an Executive Order to establish new standards for artificial intelligence (AI) safety and security with the goal of ensuring the U.S. leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of AI. The Executive Order also aims to protect privacy, advance equity and civil rights, stand up for consumers and workers, promote innovation and competition, as well as advance U.S. leadership around the world.

The Order is more than 100 pages in length and is a directive across the “whole of government” to begin regulating this new technology. The order directs or makes requests of countless federal agencies, from the Departments of Energy and Homeland Security to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Financing Agency, and more. These agencies, in turn, have the authority to issue regulations that carry the force of law. The order also mandates the creation of new AI Governance Boards and Chief AI Officer positions across federal agencies, laying a possible groundwork for a new centralized AI agency.

And the reaction to this Order across America is not all good. Forbes responded with the article “Biden’s New AI Executive Order Is Regulation Run Amok.” and the author believes that this “may prove one of the most dangerous government policies in years” citing several scenarios of potential unintended negative consequences in various industries.

Some industry groups have expressed concern that the order’s regulatory requirements will stifle innovation in the AI sector. For example, the NetChoice trade group has warned that the order could “put any investment in AI at risk of being shut down at the whims of government bureaucrats.”

Other critics have argued that the order is too vague and lacks specific details about how the government plans to implement and enforce its provisions. For example, the Algorithmic Justice League, a civil rights group, has said that the order “does not go far enough” to protect people from the harms of AI.

Some experts have also criticized the Biden administration for failing to consult more broadly with the public and stakeholders before issuing the order. For example, the Brookings Institution think tank has said that the order “reflects the administration’s own priorities, but not necessarily the priorities of the broader AI community.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has warned that the order’s focus on national security could lead to the government using AI for mass surveillance and other purposes that could violate civil liberties.

Citing the announcement of this Executive Order, the National Safety Council issued a responsive statement. saying that it believes data and AI can be used to gain insights into workplace safety programs and that employers can apply those same insights and technology to reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities for workers.

The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways.

Over the past five years, NSC has focused specifically on how technology, including AI, can improve health and safety outcomes on the job through its Work to Zero initiative, which continues to reveal how technology works well and can be improved to save lives.

Some of the prevailing AI technologies include machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics engines. All these technologies serve as powerful tools to identify risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries, reduce employee incidents and streamline manual tasks.

The NSC said it urges the White House, Congress and other policymakers to examine these findings as it continues to incorporate learnings into this effort.

The Biden Executive Order on AI is just the beginning of the process of regulating AI in the United States. It remains to be seen how the order will be implemented and enforced, and whether it will be effective in addressing the risks and challenges posed by AI.

New Law Reins in the High Cost of Ambulance Surprise Bills

Governor Newsom has signed AB 716, a new law that takes effect on January 1, which modifies ambulance billing practices to prevent out-of-network patients from receiving unanticipated medical bills for emergency medical ground transportation.

According to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP), California has 715 total public and private ambulance services statewide, with 3,600 licensed ambulances. There are 337 emergency ambulance service areas (zones) statewide, of which more than 220 are served by private ambulance companies.

The estimated total annual expenditures for ground ambulance services in California is approximately $2 billion.

Though the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover out-of-network emergency ground medical transport (EGMT) at usual and customary rates (UCR), there are no specific standards regarding UCR.

Health plans often set their UCR much lower than what an ambulance provider charges, leaving patients open to financial liability for the remainder of the charges. For enrollees in Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC)-regulated plans and California Department of Insurance (CDI)-regulated policies, health professionals and facilities are categorized as in- network or out-of-network, based on whether they have an existing contract with specific health plans or insurers to provide service to their enrollees for a specific payment amount. In-network health facilities and professionals have a contract with the enrollee’s plan or insurer that defines a contracted rate for payment for services (and no balance billing of the enrollee is allowed).

However, when an out-of-network provider’s billed charge is more than the plan or insurer will pay, the provider may then seek to recoup the difference, or balance bill, directly from the enrollee.

After January 1, under AB 716, a health care service plan contract or a health insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2024, an enrollee or insured who receives covered services from a non- contracting ground ambulance provider will be required to pay no more than the same cost-sharing amount that the enrollee or insured would pay for the same covered services received from a contracting ground ambulance provider.

A noncontracting ground ambulance provider will be prohibited from billing or sending to collections a higher amount, and would prohibit a ground ambulance provider from billing an uninsured or self-pay patient more than the established payment by Medi-Cal or Medicare fee-for-service amount, whichever is greater.

Under the federal “No Surprises Act,” which Congress passed in 2020, prohibits most surprise out-of-network bills when a patient receives out-of-network services during an emergency visit or at an in-network hospital without advance notice. The “No Surprises Act” includes air ambulances, but does not include ground ambulance services.

California is the 14th state to provide some protection against balance billing for ground ambulance rides.

Appellate Court Affirms AOE-COE Ends at Employer’s Property Line

Rose Jones was employed at the University of California, Irvine campus as the Director of Scholarship Opportunities .

On the day of the incident, at the end of her workday, she exited her office suite at UCI’s science library, walked her bike a short distance to the bike path on Outer Ring Road, mounted her bike, and began riding toward her home. After riding for about 10 seconds, Jones reached a trench, cordoned off with orange posts and caution tape. Upon noticing the obstacle, she swerved and attempted to brake but fell off her bike and sustained injuries.

She subsequently sued the University alleging premises liability and negligence, and her husband alleging loss of consortium. The parties and the trial court subsequently treated Jones’s claims as a claim for dangerous condition of public property under Government Code section 835.

The University moved for summary judgment, claiming that Jones’s injuries occurred within the course of her employment and that the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule therefore barred this action. It noted Jones was still on the University’s premises and argued her injuries were subject to the workers’ compensation scheme under the premises line rule. The University alternatively contended Jones could not recover under Government Code section 835 because she did not exercise due care at the time of the accident.

The trial court granted the University’s motion for summary judgment. It concluded the exclusivity rule barred Jones’s claim because her injuries occurred within the course of her employment as a matter of law based on the premises line rule. It further concluded that, as a matter of law, Jones did not use due care at the time of the accident.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court in the unpublished case of Jones v. Regents of the University of California -G061787 (October 2023)

Under the judicially created “going and coming rule” an employee’s injury while commuting to and from work is not compensable under the workers’ compensation system absent “special or extraordinary circumstances.”

In an effort to create a sharp line of demarcation as to when the employee’s commute terminates and the course of employment commences, courts adopted the premises line rule, which provides that the employment relationship generally commences once the employee enters the employer’s premises. The same rule applies when the employee is leaving the work premises, provided he does not unnecessarily loiter thereon.

Highlighting the merits of the premises line rule, our Supreme Court explained in General Ins. Co. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1976) 16 Cal.3d 595 “The ‘premises line’ has the advantage of enabling courts to ascertain the point at which employment begins-objectively and fairly.”

The Court of Appeal wrote we “conclude the worker’s compensation exclusivity rule barred appellants’ claims because Jones’s injuries occurred in the course and scope of her employment as a matter of law. Her accident occurred on UCI’s campus, undisputedly owned by the University, just after she left her workstation. Under these circumstances, the premises line rule brought Jones’s injuries within the worker’s compensation scheme. (General Ins. Co., supra, 16 Cal.3d at p. 598.)”

Owners of Catalina Island Businesses Indicted for $1M Wage Theft

The Labor Commissioner’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit partnered with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in a prosecution of two Catalina Island business owners for grand theft of labor under Penal Code 487(a), a felony.

Jack Tucey and Yueh Mei “Nora” Tucey, owners of restaurant and hotel businesses on Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles, were arraigned on felony charges of grand labor and wage theft, conspiracy to commit grand labor theft, and unemployment insurance fraud.

The total wages due to at least 18 affected workers is $1,032,684. This covers lost wages from July 2008 to October 15, 2022. There may be additional workers affected by the wage theft.

The LCO’s Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) initiated the investigation and referred the case to LCO’s Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) in January 2022. The investigation found the employer engaged in various fraudulent payroll schemes over the course of many years to avoid paying their workers the proper minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Workers – who were paid less than minimum wage – were required to clock out to avoid recording overtime. The employer did not accurately record the total number of hours employees worked and did not pay employees for all hours worked. Workers had to record their overtime hours separately on paper so that it was not included in the company’s payroll system.

When workers were paid overtime, it was at a reduced rate using aliases rather than their name to hide the overtime hours worked. Employees were required to do preparation work and paperwork off the clock for no pay.

Many of the workers were also tenants of the Tuceys on Catalina Island. Most of the restaurant workers would work at multiple locations, finishing a shift at one restaurant and then going to a different eatery owned by the Tuceys to work the evening shift.

The Tuceys operated multiple businesses on Catalina Island under the following entities: El Galleon Restaurant, Inc., Mi Casita Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Inc., Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret, Inc., Original Antonio’s Pizzeria, Inc., Food Brokers International, Inc., Catalina Hotel, Catalina Courtyard Hotel and Original Jack’s Restaurant and Bakery, Inc.

Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of the previous three years to determine minimum wage, overtime, and other labor law violations, and to calculate payments owed and penalties due. When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid minimum wages plus interest.

Jury Convicts Oakland Doctor in Kickback and Fraud Case

Henry Geoffrey Watson, a medical doctor residing in Oakland, California, was convicted by a federal jury of charges that included accepting kickbacks for patient referrals to home health agencies, health care fraud, and false statements relating to a health care matter.

The jury found that 67 year old Watson engaged in three health care kickback schemes from 2013 to 2019, using his position as a licensed medical doctor. The first scheme involved a conspiracy in which Watson agreed to refer patients to home health agency Amity Home Health Carein exchange for illegal kickback payments. The evidence at trial proved that Watson and employees of Amity and its CEO, Amanda Singh, conspired to pay Watson regular and recurring amounts, sometimes in the form of cash payments of $3,000 a month, to ensure that Watson referred Medicare patients to Amity each month.

Title 42, United States Code, Section 1320a-7b, the Anti-Kickback Statute, makes it a crime for any person to knowingly solicit, offer, or pay a kickback, bribe, or rebate for furnishing services under a Federal health care program including Medicare.

In the second scheme proved at trial, Watson accepted kickback payments from an undercover FBI agent posing as a home health agency representative seeking Watson’s agreement to refer his patients to a particular Bay Area home health agency. The evidence at trial included video recordings of Watson accepting envelopes of cash, for a total of more than $10,000, at four meetings in 2017. The jury heard evidence that Watson also suggested other doctors who he believed would be willing to accept illegal payments for referrals from the undercover agent.

The third scheme proved at trial involved a conspiracy between Watson and others to repeatedly and falsely certify individuals for Medicare-funded home health services that the individuals did not seek and did not need. The evidence at trial showed that Watson and co-conspirators arranged for Watson to briefly meet large numbers of unwitting elderly residents of Bay Area retirement homes. After these meetings, held in common areas or recreation rooms, Watson certified that each and every resident he met was homebound, meaning they had a normal inability to leave the home. In fact, according to the evidence and the jury’s verdict, Watson knew that the patients were not homebound and did not need the services he prescribed.

Watson did not conduct any tests or conduct any inquiry about whether they were homebound, according to trial evidence, but he nevertheless made fraudulent referrals to the three home health agencies. During time periods that Watson repeatedly certified that certain individuals were homebound, testimony from these individuals and their regular primary care doctors showed that the individuals were generally healthy and active, engaging in activities such as traveling internationally, shopping, walking stairs, and jogging. The evidence proved Watson falsely billed Medicare for certifying these individuals for home health and for supervising their home health care, despite the fact that the individuals did not need that care. As part of the conspiracy, Watson was paid illegal kickbacks of $100 per patient referral by a co-conspirator working for the three home health agencies.

Criminal charges against Watson were unsealed on September 5, 2019, when the United States Attorney’s Office announced charges by criminal complaint against 30 defendants in a wide-ranging, patients-for-kickback scheme. Those charges included criminal kickback charges against Amity Home Health Care, which was then the largest home health care provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Advent Care, a provider of hospice care. In relation to the investigation that led to the charges and conviction of Watson, other individuals and doctors were also convicted of illegal kickbacks:

– – Amity’s CEO, Ridhima Amanda Singh pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to pay kickbacks for the referrals of Medicare beneficiaries on August 5, 2022, in Court Case No. 22-CR-267 CRB.
– – Dr. Bhupinder Bhandari pled guilty to violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute on June 6, 2022, in Court Case No. 20-CR-374 JD.
– – Dr. Zheng Zhang pled guilty to violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute on April 25, 2022, in Court Case No. 22-CR-090 VC.
– – Dr. Gerald Myint pled guilty to violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute on November 18, 2020, in Court Case No. 20-CR-408 CRB.
– – Dr. Juan Posada pled guilty to violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute on January 27, 2021, in Court Case No. 20-CR-420 RS.

All those defendants have been sentenced by the judges assigned to those cases.

Watson remains released on bond pending sentencing. Watson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 28, 2024, before Judge Breyer in San Francisco. Any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

WCIRB Releases 2023 Geo Study with Interactive Map

The California workers’ compensation system is established, administered and interpreted on a statewide basis. Nevertheless, there are sharp differences in cost characteristics across regions of the state.

To reflect those differences, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) released the 2023 WCIRB Geo Study, which underscores regional differences in claim characteristics across California. The web-based interactive map allows you to quickly view key measures across regions.

The study, related exhibits and mapping of nine-digit zip codes to the regions referenced in the study are available in the Research section of the WCIRB website.

The study’s key findings include the following:

– – Even after controlling for regional differences in wages and industry mix, indemnity claim frequency is significantly higher in the Los Angeles (LA) Basin and significantly lower in the San Francisco Bay Area.
– – The share of larger indemnity claims (those with incurred costs greater than $250,000) at fifth report level tends to be higher in regions that have lower indemnity frequency. Northern California regions, including the Bay Area and Peninsula/Silicon Valley, tend to have higher shares of larger indemnity claims.
– – Between Policy Year (PY) 2020 and 2021, the median injured worker’s average weekly wage increased in all regions. The increases were larger in most of the central and southern parts of the state. The median wage in these regions has often been lower than the statewide average.
– – The share of cumulative trauma (CT) claims as a percent of all claims decreased for almost all regions from policy year 2020 to 2021. The largest decrease was in LA/Long Beach, which has a high overall level of CT claims. The decreases were also relatively high in the San Bernardino/West Riverside, Bay Area and Sonoma/Napa regions, which have lower than average shares of CT claims.
– – With the adoption of the new medical-legal fee schedule in April 2021, medical-legal costs increased in nearly all regions from PY 2020 to 2021. They remained significantly higher in the LA Basin, Orange County and Santa Monica/San Fernando Valley regions than in the remainder of the state.

Four new maps, highlighting differences in the prevalence of permanent disability claims, loss ratios and loss development at the seventh report level, as well as litigation rates, are provided in this year’s study.

Bakersfield Attorney Pleads No Contest in Insurance Fraud Scheme

A Bakersfield attorney pleaded no contest Monday and was sentenced to two years in jail for his part in a $12.5 million scheme to overbill insurance companies for urine tests at sober living homes in Orange County.

Between January 2008 and December 2016, defendants Pamela and Philip Ganong owned sober living homes in Orange County, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and San Diego, through their business William Mae Company, which operated as Compass Rose Recovery. In December 2011, the Ganongs formed a medical testing lab called Ghostline Labs.

Philip William Ganong, 70, accepted a plea agreement approved by Orange County Superior Court Judge Joy Markman. He pleaded no contest to 10 felony counts of fraudulent claims for a health benefit.

Multiple charges were filed in 2017 in connection with the scheme allegedly led by Ganong and his wife and co-defendant Pamela Mae Ganong, 67, who owned sober living homes in Orange County, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and San Diego, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Pamela Mae Ganong is awaiting trial, but her case has been assigned to a court that handles defendants who are facing questions about whether they are mentally healthy enough to assist in their defense.

Pamela Ganong’s sister, 70 year old Susan Stinson of Carlsbad, was charged with conspiracy to commit medical insurance fraud. Stinson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of fraudulent claim for a health benefit on Wednesday and sentenced to time served behind bars, which was 34 days, according to court records.

Judge Markman ordered Stinson and Ganong to pay the $12.5 million restitution.

Charges against the Ganongs’ son, William Ganong, were dismissed in 2019 after he died, according to court records. Carlos X. Montano, M.D Newport Beach pleaded guilty in 2018 to insurance fraud and was sentenced to one year in county jail. His California medical license was revoked in June 2021.

  The Ganongs formed a medical testing lab in December 2011, and prosecutors said sober living home residents were recruited to join the scheme to overbill insurance companies for urine tests, which involved listing them as employees and signing them up fraudulently for health insurance.

California State Bar records show that Philip Ganong continues to be licensed as an attorney, but does show a cautionary note that he has been charged with a felony.

New VA Study Shows Paxlovid Not Effective Against Long COVID

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral pill that can be taken at home to help keep high-risk patients from getting so sick that they need to be hospitalized.

Paxlovid, the pill that has become the go-to treatment for COVID-19 treatment, was granted full approval by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults at high risk for severe disease, including hospitalization and death. The drug also remains available to everyone 12 and older (weighing at least 88 pounds) who has mild-to-moderate disease and is at high risk for severe disease under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization.

According to Yale Medicine, the drug, developed by Pfizer, has a lot of positives: It had an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization and death in unvaccinated people in the clinical trial that supported the EUA, a number that was high enough to prompt the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to prioritize it over other COVID-19 treatments. Studies outside of the laboratory have since confirmed Paxlovid’s effectiveness among people who have been vaccinated. It’s cheaper than many other COVID-19 drugs (at this time, U.S. residents eligible for Paxlovid will continue to receive the medicine at no charge), and, perhaps most reassuring, it is expected to work against the latest Omicron subvariants.

“It’s really our first efficacious oral antiviral pill for this virus,” says Scott Roberts, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist. “It shows clear benefit, and it really can prevent hospitalization and death in people who are at high risk.”

Unfortunately, a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine of US veterans prescribed nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) during COVID-19 infections shows no difference in long-COVID rates among groups who took the antivirals and those who did not.

COVID-19 has been linked to the development of many post-COVID-19 conditions (PCCs) after acute infection. Limited information is available on the effectiveness of oral antivirals used to treat acute COVID-19 in preventing the development of PCCs. SARS-CoV-2 infection is believed to increase risk for several medical conditions long after acute illness.

Such post-COVID-19 conditions involve multiple organ systems and include pulmonary, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, thromboembolic, neurocognitive, mental health, metabolic, renal, and gastrointestinal disorders. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that 1 in 5 COVID-19 survivors aged 18 to 64 years and 1 in 4 survivors aged 65 years or older experienced an incident condition that was potentially attributable to previous COVID-19.

In this new study, researchers used data from the VA’s Corporate Data Warehouse (a database of VA enrollees’ comprehensive EHRs) and the VA COVID-19 Shared Data Resource (CSDR), both of which are supported by the VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI), which integrates multiple data sources to provide patient-level COVID-19–related data. The CSDR includes information on laboratory-confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 test results (by either nucleic acid amplification or antigen testing) within the VHA as well as SARS-CoV-2 tests performed outside the VHA and documented in VHA clinical records.

The researchers concluded that Paxlovid was not effective at reducing risk for many of the PCCs that were examined, including cardiac, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal, neurologic, mental health, musculoskeletal, endocrine, and general conditions and symptoms. And was associated only with a reduced risk for combined thromboembolic events 31 to 180 days after treatment.

The results of this study differed from those of a VA study by Xie and colleagues that reported that treatment with nirmatrelvir-ritonavir was associated with lower risk for 10 out of 13 PCCs.