Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!
Tech Takes on Temp Screening Privacy Concerns
Companies concerned about potential privacy issues with temperature screenings, new tech is coming to help. While the current pandemic guidance allows employers to take employee temperatures before admitting them to work for the day, any storage or additional action taken with these readings could land employers in compliance trouble with HIPAA and other non-discriminatory acts.
A tech company called IntraEdge has introduced Janus, a kiosk which privately takes temperatures and informs management if the employee has permission to enter the office or not. Temperatures aren’t stored or shared, giving Human Resources a pass on creating new health files. Janus isn’t the only tech solution vying for workplace temperature control. Camera programs like PopID use facial recognition alongside fever detection to screen employees before they enter their workplace. Clear, the biometric security company commonly seen at airports, has also added a health-screening system, called Clear Health Pass.
Technology companies are ready to smooth the way for employers relying on temperature checks as one way to help keep workplaces safe from COVID-19 outbreaks. Health experts warn, however, that tools rushed to market could be inaccurate, and could lead to a false sense of security.
Telehealth Push Gets Government Funding
More than $100 million has been allocated to healthcare providers by the FCC, with the purpose of building a stronger telehealth infrastructure. This is about half the funding intended for telehealth from the CARES Act passed earlier this year. Delays have plagued the project, but now more than three hundred providers have been approved for funding. Some significant funding beneficiaries include big grants to areas hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including New York City and New Orleans.
Telehealth has been identified as a strong player in the continuing fight against the spread of COVID-19, and federal agencies have relaxed some regulations temporarily in order to help programs spread and adapt to 2020’s urgent medical needs.
CDC Issues Health Warnings for Reopened States
The CDC’s deputy director warned “the pandemic is not over,” in a press briefing on June 12. The agency is advising that Americans continue to take the risk of virus transmission and the potential to fall ill or make others ill very seriously. Individuals should be taking practices that workplaces have had to implement into their own home, such as reminding potential guests not to visit if they’ve felt ill in the past fourteen days, or hosting gatherings outdoors.
The CDC website offers a checklist for considerations before going into public, which includes checking the current spread of COVID-19 in an individual’s community, how to use visual reminders to ensure social distancing, and the potential for sharing any tools with others. The website reminds individuals to have a cloth face covering, tissues, and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.