Coronavirus Update for Friday, December 18

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

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period that establishes a New COVID-19 Treatments Add-on Payment (NCTAP) under the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system effective from November 2, 2020 until the end of the public health emergency for COVID-19.  To mitigate potential financial disincentives for hospitals to provide new COVID-19 treatments during the COVID-19 emergency, Medicare will provide an enhanced payment for eligible inpatient cases that involve use of certain new products with current FDA approval or emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19.  See the NCTAP web page for more information.
  • CMS has announced that in response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics is introducing six new diagnosis codes into the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), effective January 1, 2021.  Learn more about the new codes here.
  • CMS has updated its FAQs and guidance for CLIA labs during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • CMS has extended its third quarter 2020 submission deadlines for selected Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs so providers can “…focus on patient care during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”  Learn more here.
  • In its online publication MLN Connects CMS has outlined how it intends to implement and enforce its new hospital price transparency requirements that take effect on January 1, 2021.  Among other measures, CMS notes that if it concludes that a hospital is non-compliant with one or more of the requirements to make public its standard charges, it may take any of the following actions, which generally, but not necessarily, will occur in the following order:
    • provide a written warning notice to the hospital of the specific violation(s);
    • request a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) if noncompliance constitutes a material violation of one or more requirements; and
    • impose a civil monetary penalty not in excess of $300 per day and publicize the penalty on a CMS website if the hospital fails to respond to our request to submit a CAP or comply with the requirements of a CAP.

Go here for further information and links to additional resources.

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.

COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, December 22 at 5:00 (eastern)

Toll Free Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  3968359

Audio Webcast link:  go 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 past stakeholder calls, go here.

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine has joined with eight other national organizations to call on …all governors, health departments, hospitals and other health care sector partners to act immediately to be prepared to implement crisis standards of care” during the current COVID-19 surge.