The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18.

CMS/Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

  • In June, CMS established a Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes to “address safety and quality in nursing homes in relation to the public health emergency.  The main purpose of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes… was to solicit lessons learned from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations for future actions to improve infection prevention and control measures, safety procedures, and the quality of life of residents within nursing homes.”  That commission, whose work was facilitated by a private-sector entity, has released its final report.  Learn more about the commission’s work in CMS’s news release announcing publication of the final report; the report itself; and CMS’s response to the report’s recommendations.

Provider Relief Fund

  • HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with six modified questions marked 9/17/2020 on pages 30-31 of the document.  The revised responses addressed TIN verifications and application for Phase 2 general distribution payments, which can include payments to Medicaid and CHIP providers, dental providers, and hospitals that have had a change of ownership.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has released a series of short presentations featuring health care professionals sharing their experiences as they work through the operational realities of maintaining and prioritizing health care safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Go here for videos designed for health care workers in all settings but primarily for hospital-based providers, support staff, and leaders.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • The latest edition of the CMS online publication MLN Connects includes a feature titled “COVID-19 Lessons Learned & Infectious Disease Surge Annex Template” that offers articles on lessons learned during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, information about infectious disease control, and field trauma triage principles.  Find it here.

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 the call, go here.

Home Health and Hospice Call

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

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

Nurses Call

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

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

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has approved an abbreviated new drug application for dexmedetomidine hydrochloride in 0.9 percent sodium chloride injection, indicated for the sedation of initially intubated and mechanically ventilated patients during treatment in an intensive-care setting as well as the sedation of non-intubated patients prior to and/or during surgical and other procedures.