What We're Reading: Homelessness and Coronavirus; ACP Launches Telemedicine Guide; HPV Vaccine May Treat Cervical Cancer

March 19, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

Worries grow as officials prepare to stem the spread of coronavirus among the nation’s homeless population; the American College of Physcians launched a new telemedicine guide; a study found the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, in addition to chemotherapy, may help treat cervical cancer.

Homeless Population Could Take a Toll on Hospitals

Some state models show that 60,000 homeless people may become infected with COVID-19, with up to 20% of them needing hospitalization, The Los Angeles Times reports. If this model were to play out, California would need 12,000 hospital beds to accommodate just the homeless population. Around 108,000 people currently live outdoors in California, and many have weakened immune systems and preexisting conditions. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced $100 million in funding to help local jurisdictions boost shelter capacity and emergency housing. Hotels, motels, and other facilities will also be leased to provide space for the homeless to practice social distancing or become quarantined.

New Telemedicine Guide Launches

The American College of Physicians (ACP) launched a new telemedicine guide. The continuing medical education program aims to help physicians implement telemedicine and is free to all ACP members. Included in the guide are recommendations on how to introduce and sustain telemedicine video visits in a clinical setting and select the technical, licensure, insurance, and reimbursement components needed for an effective telemedicine program. In addition, the program offers guidance on reasons to use virtual visits, conducting video visits, reimbursement, and clinical use cases.

HPV Vaccine Shows Some Promise Treating Cervical Cancer

Strong human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine responses, applied during chemotherapy, are associated with prolonged cancer survival, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. The HPV vaccine is typically administered to prevent cervical cancer. This small “chemoimmunotherapy” trial found better outcomes for patients with advanced cervical cancer. The study found 43% of patients’ tumors regressed while another 43% saw their disease get no worse. However, the study did not include a chemo-only comparison arm.