Coronavirus Update for Monday, August 3

The following is the latest information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 3.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has issued a news alert titled “HHS Extends Application Deadline for Medicaid Providers and Plans to Reopen Portal to Certain Medicare Providers.” This means some providers will have new opportunities to pursue grants from the CARES Act’s Provider Relief Fund.  The major subjects of this news release are:
    • HHS is extending the deadline for applying for the phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers to August 28. The web portal for applying is here.
    • Starting the week of August 10, HHS will permit Medicare providers that missed the first opportunity to apply for funding from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion phase 1 Medicare general distribution. Applications for this funding, which can amount to up to two percent of annual patient revenue, are now due August 28.
    • Some providers that have undergone a change in ownership did not receive the automatic payments for the pool of $30 billion from the $50 billion phase 1 Medicare general distribution. Starting August 10, those providers may submit documentation for consideration of a Provider Relief Fund payment.  These applications, too, are due August 28.

For more information, find HHS’s CARES Act Provider Relief Fund page here and its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ here.  (Please note that the FAQ is updated frequently.)

  • HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with additions and modifications on the following subjects:
    • Sharing targeted distribution money received on behalf of subsidiaries (p. 2).
    • Time limits for expending Provider Relief Fund payments (p. 6).
    • Whether Provider Relief Fund payments are subject to Single Audit (two questions, one on pp. 10-11 and another on p.11).
    • Extensions for submitting data for audits (p. 11).
    • Identifying providers on lists to receive payments from the Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers distribution (p. 30).
    • Information about dental providers and the Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers distribution (p. 30).
    • Eligibility of providers for payments from the Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers distribution if they have received aid from certain other COVID-19-related payment programs (two questions on p. 31).
    • Use of the applicant portal (three questions: on p. 37, pp. 37-38, p. 38).
    • Application issues for home and community-based services providers (two questions on  p. 38).
    • Applications from fiscal management services organizations for the Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers distribution (two questions on p. 38).
    • Issues involving tax identification numbers (TINs) (two questions, one on pp. 38-39 and the other on p. 39).

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to 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 attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

Lessons from the Front Lines

Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.  Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their COVID-19 response.  There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters.

Friday, August 7 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4695240

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and health care systems to increase hospital capacity, expand the health care workforce, and promote the use of telehealth in Medicare.

Tuesday, August 4 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820, Access Passcode: 3296947

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, August 11 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 3498643

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Home Health and Hospice

Tuesday, August 11 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 5097566

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Nursing Homes

Wednesday, August 12 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 7857618

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Dialysis Organizations

Wednesday, August 12 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 1027088

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Nurses

Thursday, August 13 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7844289

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA updated its FAQ on the emergency use authorization for the use of remdesivir for treating COVID-19 patients and notes changes in the remdesivir fact sheet for health care providers and a changes in a separate fact sheet for patients and caregivers.
  • On Tuesday, August 4 at noon (eastern), the FDA will host a webinar on its regulation of face masks and surgical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested parties can go here for call-in information for the webinar and for access to transcripts of past webinars and the presentations offered during those events.  The FDA will hold a similar webinar on August 18, also at 12:15.
  • The FDA will host a virtual town hall on August 5 at 12:15 (eastern) for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The purpose of this town hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for COVID-19.  Go here for call-in information for the town hall and for access to transcripts of past town halls and the presentations offered during those events.  The FDA will hold similar town halls on August 12, 19, and 26, also at 12:15.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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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