Coronavirus Update for Friday, September 11

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government and others as of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, September 11.

Provider Relief Fund

  • Reminder: Applications are currently open for Phase 2 general distribution funding for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), dental providers, certain Medicare providers, hospitals that have changes in ownership, and assisted living facilities.  All groups have until September 13, 2020 to submit their tax identification number for validation and apply for funding from the phase 2 general distribution.  Go here for more information.
  • HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with one modified question marked 9/4/2020 on page 32 of the document. The revised response addresses the tax treatment by parent companies of grants awarded to subsidiaries with separate National Provider Identifiers.

 

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association has published an update of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that includes two code additions for reporting medical services sparked by the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more from this AMA announcement.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has published a request for information seeking stakeholder input regarding the ability of CLIA-accredited commercial, academic, medical center, and public health laboratories to feasibly perform more COVID-19 testing if additional testing instruments were made available to them. Interested parties have ten days to submit written comments.
  • HHS has issued new guidance authorizing state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer, and state-licensed or registered pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of the qualified pharmacist to administer, COVID-19 vaccinations to persons ages three or older, subject to certain requirements. See HHS’s announcement of the new guidance and go here to see the guidance itself.

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has posted the document “New COVID 19 Testing and Reporting Requirements” that collects and summarizes the latest testing, training, and data-reporting requirements for nursing homes.
  • In late August, CMS published a regulation that required nursing homes to test their staff for COVID-19; that regulation included other testing and reporting requirements as well. The frequency of such testing was to be tied to the degree of community spread of COVID-19, with the details of how that would work to be announced later.  CMS has now published the county-by-county positivity rates on which the frequency of nursing home testing will be based.  Find those rates here.
  • CMS has updated its tip sheets to help providers understand its public reporting strategy for quality programs during the COVID-19 emergency.  Find tip sheets for the following types of providers:
    • For long-term-care hospitals, here and here.
    • For skilled nursing facilities, here and here.
    • For inpatient rehabilitation faculties, here and here.
    • For home health providers, here and here.
  • CMS has published updated provider-specific fact sheets on new COVID-19-related waivers and flexibilities for home health agencies, ambulances, and durable medical equipment.

 

CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to its response to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, September 22 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2409459

To join call, go here.

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Friday, September 18 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4446447

To join call, go here.

Home Health and Hospice Call

Tuesday, September 22n at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 1169237
To join call, go here.

Nursing Homes Call

Friday, September 18 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4446447

To join call, go here.

Dialysis Organizations Call

Wednesday, September 23 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 7026727
To join call, go here.

Thursday, September 24 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 5872398
To join call, here.

Conference lines are limited, so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast.  To listen to the audio files and read the transcripts for these and past COVID-19 Stakeholder calls, visit CMS’s Podcast and Transcripts page.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Food and Drug Administration

 

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