Coronavirus Update for Monday, October 26

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:45 p.m. on Monday, October 26.

Provider Relief Fund:  Webcast on Phase 3 General Distribution

  • Applications for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 general distribution are now being accepted by HHS.  HHS will hold a webcast on Monday, November 2 at 3:00 p.m. (eastern) for interested parties.  Go here to register for the webcast and to submit questions.  Providers considering applying for Phase 3 general distribution funds that did not view the previous webcast should participate in this one in anticipation of the November 6 application deadline.  Also available are a fact sheet and a presentation about the Phase 3 general distribution.

 

Provider Relief Fund:  Financial Reporting

Last week we reported on HHS’s updating of its most recent Provider Relief Fund financial reporting instructions that broadened how fund recipients may use those funds.  That report was accompanied by an HHS policy memorandum and amended reporting requirements.  For providers interested in how HHS is defining parent entities in this update, the amended reporting requirements document includes the following explanation:

Reporting Entity: Entity (at the Tax Identification Number (TIN) level) that received one or more PRF [Provider Relief Fund] payments, or an entity that meets the following three criteria: 1) is the parent of one or more subsidiary billing TINs that received General Distribution payments, 2) has providers associated with it that were providing diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19 on or after January 31, 2020, and 3) is an entity that can otherwise attest to the Terms and Conditions. If the entity has subsidiary TINs that received General Distribution payments, regardless of whether the subsidiary or Reporting Entity formally attested to accepting the payment within the provider portal, the Reporting Entity may report on and direct the use of General Distribution payments. However, if a subsidiary TIN received a Targeted Distribution payment, 1 the subsidiary TIN must report use of funds for that payment, and the parent organization that reports on a subsidiary’s General Distribution payment cannot also report on (or transfer) the subsidiary’s Targeted Distribution payment.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Four weeks after HHS announced that it would distribute 150 million state-of-the-art Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests nationally to assist with states’ reopening efforts, states have begun to report back to HHS about how they are choosing to distribute the rapid, point-of-care tests.  Of the states that have provided preliminary reports, the BinaxNOW allocations are largely being sent to local health departments, K-12 schools and institutes of higher education, nursing homes, hospitals, and correctional facilities.  Learn more from this HHS announcement about the status of the distribution and states’ responses to it.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has updated its work plan for COVID-19-related audits, evaluations, and inspections.

 

CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls 

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about the agency’s 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.  Two such calls remain this month.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, October 27 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2394789

Audio Webcast link:  go here to register for the call

Nursing Homes Call

Wednesday, October 28 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  5587022
Audio Webcast Link:  go here to register for the call

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 other COVID-19 stakeholder calls, visit CMS’s podcast and transcripts page.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds).
  • The FDA has consolidated its existing resources for stakeholders to easily find information about drug and biologics development and manufacturing, including for products to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent COVID-19 and for other critically needed products to treat symptoms of COVID-19 or to provide supportive care to those with COVID-19.  Go here to find the consolidated guide to these resources.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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