The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 5.
- This week NASH wrote to congressional leaders on behalf of private safety-net hospitals asking them to include in the administration’s COVID-19 relief bill:
- more resources for the Provider Relief Fund
- additional targeted funding for safety-net hospitals
- help with staffing
- an extension of the current moratorium on the Medicare sequestration
- forgiveness for safety-net hospitals for loans they received under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program
See NASH’s letter to congressional leaders here.
NASH will engage in additional advocacy in the coming days.
The White House
- The White House has published a fact sheet describing the administration’s actions to increase the COVID-19 vaccine supply, launch a federal retail pharmacy program, and expand FEMA reimbursement to states for COVID-19-related services provided by FEMA and the National Guard. A separate memo from the president to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security describes the additional responsibilities delegated to that agency in greater detail.
Provider Relief Fund
A new proposal has been adopted by the Senate to include $35 billion for the Provider Relief Fund in the administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has updated its toolkit on state actions to mitigate the prevalence of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls
HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice
HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes. These webinar topics are covered every week:
- EMS: Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
- Critical Care: Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
- Emergency Department: Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
CMS 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.
CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls
Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2528725
Audio Webcast link: go here
Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4177586
Audio Webcast link: go here
Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2769397
Audio Webcast link: go here
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on February 26 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Biotech Inc. (often referred to as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). See the FDA’s announcement.
- The FDA has modified its emergency use authorization for the use of convalescent plasma. Under the revised authorization, convalescent plasma now is to be used only early during the hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. In addition, use of plasma with low amounts of antibodies – weaker, “low-titer plasma” – is no longer authorized. Learn more from:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has posted a document explaining the federal government’s partnership with retail pharmacies for administering COVID-19 vaccines: how the partnership works and why the partnership is beneficial. It also has posted a list of pharmacies across the country that are participating in this partnership.
- The CDC has published information about the demographic characteristics of people vaccinated during the first month of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
- The CDC has updated its information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities.
- The CDC has updated its information about COVID-19 for health care providers.
- The CDC has updated its information about new COVID-19 variants.
- The CDC has updated its information about COVID-19 point-of-care testing.
- The CDC has updated its information about COVID-19 for laboratories.
- The CDC has updated its information about COVID-19 for people who have specific medical conditions.
- The CDC has updated its information about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy.
- The CDC has published a study on the decline in COVID-19 hospitalization growth rates associated with state-wide mask mandates.
- The CDC has published research on racial and ethnic disparities in the prevalence of stress and worry, mental health conditions, and increased substance abuse among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The CDC has published research on sexual orientation disparities in risk factors for adverse COVID-19-related outcomes by race/ethnicity.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published a document describing strategies for building public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.