Coronavirus Update for Monday, July 13

The following is the latest information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, July 13.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has announced that it will distribute another $4 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Fund money. Of that sum, approximately $3 billion will be distributed to safety-net providers, with the agency expanding its criteria since its June distribution of safety-net provider funding to encompass some safety-net hospitals that did not meet the previous criterion that addressed hospital profitability.  Another $1 billion will be distributed to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas.  Hospitals are expected to see deposits as soon as Wednesday.
  • As part of these newest distributions of CARES Act money, HHS has added extensive updates to its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ. Most of the new questions involve these latest distributions and are all marked “7/10/2020.”
  • HHS also has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ with new information about finding the status of applications or payments; the impact of changes on ownership in eligibility for payments; the eligibility of Programs of All-Inclusive Care (PACE) for payments; accounting for full-time employees by applicants for the Medicaid and CHIP distribution; and the ability of providers with tax identification numbers that have not yet been validated to apply for funds. All changes are marked “7/8/2020.”
  • HHS has posted a video titled “Five Things About Nursing Homes During COVID-19” that presents five things the agency is doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
  • HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the adoption of a revised Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation that seeks to advance “…the integration of healthcare for individuals with substance use disorders while maintaining critical privacy and confidentiality protections. Under Part 2, a federally assisted substance use disorder program may only disclose patient identifying information with the individual’s written consent, as part of a court order, or under a few limited exceptions.”  Under the new rule, however, “Health care providers, with patients’ consent, will be able to more easily conduct such activities as quality improvement, claims management, patient safety, training, and program integrity efforts.”  Go here to see HHS’s announcement and go here to see HHS’s fact sheet about the new regulation.

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.

Home Health and Hospice Calls

Tuesday, July 21st at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  6080197

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, July 14th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2550919

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Tuesday, July 21st at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7477995

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Tuesday, July 28th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  1492795

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Nursing Homes Call

Wednesday, July 22nd at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  1143564

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Dialysis Organizations Call

Wednesday, July 22nd at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7692208

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Nurses Call

Thursday, July 23rd at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7971869

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Lessons from the Front Lines

Friday, July 17th at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Code: 3096434

Web Link:  go here.

Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio.  To listen to the audio files and read the transcripts for the COVID-19 Stakeholder calls, visit CMS’s Podcast and Transcripts page.

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Labor

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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