Coronavirus update for Monday, May 4 as of 2:30 p.m.
Department of Health and Human Services
- Last Friday HHS began processing $22 billion in payments from the CARES Act’s provider relief fund to hospitals with large numbers of COVID-19 admissions through April 10 and to rural providers in support of the national response to COVID-19. See HHS’s announcement of the distribution of this money, including a breakdown by state of grant recipients.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has posted a presentation that elaborates on the regulatory changes the agency introduced last week. It includes explanations of how to interpret the new regulation’s flexibilities and offers examples of how health systems can expand services.
- In response to the increased need for providing telehealth due to COVID-19, CMS has given additional consideration to telehealth services in HHS-operated risk adjustment for issuers in the individual and small group health insurance markets inside and outside the marketplaces. In new guidance, CMS clarifies which telehealth services are valid for HHS-operated risk adjustment data submission in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CMS has published CARES Act financial guidance to state survey agencies for the award and administration of supplemental funding for the cost of survey and certification efforts with a focus on areas where there is community spread of COVID-19. This funding is expected to be used to complete focused infection control surveys for nursing homes, to increase complaint surveys, and to perform reopening surveys of facilities with previous COVID-19 outbreaks.
- CMS has updated its COVID-19 FAQ on Medicare fee-for-service billing.
CMS Stakeholder Calls
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its FAQ on COVID-19 testing at laboratories.
- The CDC has updated information about its Coronavirus Disease-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, a population-based surveillance system that collects data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among children and adults through a network of over 250 acute-care hospitals in 14 states.
- The CDC has updated its interim guidance on health care workers returning to work after confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
- The CDC has issued a lab advisory with additional guidance on COVID-19 laboratory testing.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on COVID-19 evaluation and testing.
- The CDC has updated its clinical care guidance for health care professionals about COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its interim guidance on the discontinuation of home isolation for persons with COVID-19, including increasing the length of recommended time for home isolation.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on the care of children with COVID-19.
- The CDC has launched a national viral genomics consortium to better map COVID-19 transmission.
- The CDC has updated its page collecting contact tracing training guidance and resources.
- The CDC has updated its interim guidance for the collection and submission of post-mortem specimens from deceased persons under investigation for COVID-19.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has approved an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of the investigational anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- The FDA has issued guidance to provide recommendations to health care providers and investigators on the administration and study of investigational convalescent plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 during the public health emergency. The guidance also provides recommendations to blood establishments on the collection of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
- The FDA has approved EUAs for four new COVID-19 tests (here, here, here, and here ) and three new COVID-19 serology tests (here, here, and here).
- The FDA has issued an EUA for a specific commercial respiratory muscle ventilator to be used to reduce atrophy of the abdominal walls among COVID-19 patients who require mechanical ventilation.
- The FDA has sent a letter to manufacturers of protective barrier enclosures, health care providers, and other stakeholders outlining the characteristics it will be looking for when considering issuing EUAs for protective barrier enclosures to help protect health care personnel caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.
- The FDA has issued an EUA for a specific commercial product used to provide continuous renal replacement therapy to treat patients in an acute-care environment during the COVID-19 crisis.
Department of Labor
- The Department of Labor has issued additional guidance about 100 percent federal reimbursement of certain state short-term compensation payments and other changes in short-term compensation programs. The guidance seeks to address “…how states can take advantage of this program as they look to re-open their businesses.” For further information see the department’s news release and its official unemployment insurance program letter.
National Institutes of Health
- The NIH has launched its study to determine the incidence of COVID-19 in children.
Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals
- NASH has prepared a document that collects and presents in one place the various new federal funding opportunities for hospitals resulting from legislation addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency. Find that document here.
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