Archive for April, 2020


Coronavirus Update for April 29, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, April 29 as of 3:30 p.m.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS has posted a letter to clinicians participating in its Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) explaining how participating in a clinical trial and reporting their findings to a clinical data repository or registry may earn them credit in the 2020 performance period.

CMS has updated its FAQ on Medicare fee-for-service billing. The update features a new question on the MIPS program.

CMS has issued a transmittal on the quarterly update of the long-term-care hospital (LTCH) prospective payments system fiscal year 2020 pricer to reflect changes in the 50 percent rule, site-neutral payments, and the 25-day length-of-stay requirement during the COVID-19 emergency. The change request updates the LTCH pricer software used in original Medicare claims processing.  The update also is described in an article in CMS’s online publication MLN Matters.

CMS is holding a COVID-19 stakeholders call for nurses on Thursday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. (eastern). The toll-free dial-in number is 833-614-0820 and the access code is 4268398.  An audio webcast can be reached here.  Individuals who cannot participate during the call can find information about transcripts and podcasts here.



Coronavirus update for Tuesday, April 28 as of 4:00 p.m.

White House

The Trump administration has released two new documents to support its plan for reopening the country and its economy:  a testing overview and an accompanying testing blueprint.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC has updated its COVID-19 guidance for different types of clinical facilities.

Food and Drug Administration

After questions arose about its April 18 emergency use authorization (EUA) about the uses of non-surgical face masks, the FDA has re-issued that EUA to manufacturers of face masks, health care personnel, hospital purchasing departments, distributors, and other stakeholders to clarify that face masks, including cloth face coverings, that are authorized by the EUA are only authorized for use by the general public and health care personnel as “source control.”  See the FDA’s FAQ about its clarification on the use of non-surgical face masks and its letter to stakeholders on the authorized uses of non-surgical masks.

The FDA’s Small Business and Industry Assistance office will hold a webinar on conducting clinical trials during the COVID-19 emergency on Thursday, April 30.

The FDA has issued an EUA for the use of a specific commercial monitoring system

Coronavirus Update for April 27, 2020

Coronavirus update for Monday, April 27 as of 3:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

Last Friday HHS deposited its second tranche of CARES Act funding in hospitals’ bank accounts.  We have contacted HHS to inquire about the specifics of the funding formula, whether there are additional future attestation requirements, the timing for the next round of payments, and more.

In the meantime, providers that received Provider Relief Payments in either round of funding should visit the CARES Act General Distribution Portal, where you will be able to provide data that HHS may use to calculate payment distributions from the Provider Relief Fund.  (Other useful resources:  the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund web page and an FAQ on the General Distribution Portal.  Also, please note: the General Distribution Portal is not the same as the Attestation Portal.)

Specifically, the portal is collecting the following four pieces of information:

  1. a provider’s “Gross Receipts or Sales” or “Program Service Revenue” as submitted on its federal income tax return;
  2. the provider’s estimated revenue losses in March 2020 and April 2020 due to COVID;
  3. a copy of the provider’s most recently filed federal income tax return; and
  4. a listing of the


Coronavirus update for Friday, April 24 as of 4:00 p.m.

Attention:  Health Care Providers

HHS has extended until 3:00 p.m. (eastern) on Saturday, April 25 the deadline for providers to submit data that will be used to determine how it will allocate the $10 billion it will be distributing to providers hit especially hard by COVID-19.  Providers that have been targeted for possible assistance from this pool have already been notified of the need to submit data, although such notice does not assure funding.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Coronavirus update for Thursday, April 23 as of 5:00 p.m.


The House has passed H.R. 266, the $384 billion COVID-19 relief/economic stimulus bill  that includes $75 billion for health care providers and $25 billion for testing.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Providers that received an email from CMS on Sunday night informing them that they are in a COVID-19 hotspot were directed to register their information through by noon on Saturday, April 25.  Doing so does not guarantee eligibility for a share of the $10 billion that CMS announced yesterday that it would be distributing among providers that have been hit hard by COVID-19 but failing to provide the requested information will exclude providers from eligibility.  Only providers that received the Sunday night email from CMS can submit the information to the site.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has updated itCARES Act Provider Relief Fund web page to include new information about how it intends to distribute the final $70 billion of the $100 billion designated for hospitals in the CARES Act.  It also describes its distribution methodology and timetable for distribution in this news release.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General