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ESSENTIA HEALTH

Essentia Health in Fargo is among the first to use a robotic endoscopy apparatus that allows low-risk access to hard-to-reach lung nodules in early development.
Prior to the pandemic, virtual doctor's visits were limited to a small set of services. That was until former President Donald Trump directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to add more than 80 new telehealth services to the list of services covered by Medicare -- and to reimburse them at the same rate as in-person services. That change allowed for the expansion of telehealth, but raised new problems for providers.
Regulations posed obstacles before the pandemic. For some, the question is will it continue even after the pandemic passes. Options for virtual visits, video check-ins, are now more numerous than ever before. For medical providers it has been a way for all types of care and particularly a way to connect with those who deal with anxiety, depression and substance use.
Minnesota hospitals that ranked in the bottom 25% nationally for preventing infections and other illness gained while under care included regional facilities owned by Mayo Clinic, Essentia, Fairview and CentraCare. The facilities will lose 1% on Medicare payments for the coming year.

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Anyone can register to attend the free, virtual event that will include a questions-and-answer session.
Walker and Park Rapids clinic provider Kelsey Stay's residency, which started in October, is part of a federally funded program involving Essentia Health in partnership with North Dakota State University.
These traveling nurses book their temporary contracts, usually about 13 weeks, through various agencies and can make as much in a week as a regular staff nurse earns in a month, according to one of the travelers. However, a human resources director at Essentia Health said much of the demand is being driven by the pandemic and, once the case numbers recede, many of those contractual positions will no longer be necessary.
The partnership will offer educational experiences for nursing students working at Essentia, support a smooth transition from graduation into practice and foster creativity and innovation for both the health system and the university.
Duluth-based Essentia Health announced its employee vaccine mandate in early August.
Dr. Greg Davis said five of the 10 ICU beds at the Brainerd hospital were occupied Friday by people suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID-19, one of whom was approximately 30 days into their stay. None were vaccinated.

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Medical exams such as mammograms, colonoscopies and pap smears were put off by some people during the coronavirus pandemic because of their concerns related to the in-person services. But with COVID-19 vaccines and masking more common now, local health care providers want people to resume the potentially life-saving visits to the doctor.
The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus we've seen so far, accounting for about 95% of current cases in Minnesota. Its symptoms are mostly the same, but can be more severe and take less time to worsen to the point of requiring hospitalization.
Health care providers in the U.S. and region face the same question of whether to require employee COVID-19 vaccinations that other employers do. But the up-close and personal nature of health care work makes for a unique point of consideration that employers in other industries may not need to contemplate.

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