The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 27.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has provided new guidance on completing Medicare reports: specifically, how providers should report Provider Relief Fund payments, uninsured charges reimbursed through the uninsured program administered by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration, and Small Business Administration loan forgiveness amounts. The new information can be found in CMS’s updated COVID-19 FAQ on Medicare fee-for-service billing, in questions 2 through 8 on pages 99-102.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act waives cost-sharing under Medicare Part B (coinsurance and deductible amounts) for COVID-19 testing-related services through the end of the public health emergency. CMS provided guidance in April on how to code for testing-related services and has updated that guidance in a revised version of the MLN Matters article “Medicare Fee-For-Service Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” with information about the use of HCPCS codes.
- CMS has posted guidance for implementing its new testing requirements for nursing homes and data reporting requirements for laboratories; this guidance was promised when the agency announced that it would institute new requirements but did not specify those requirements at the time. The nursing home guidance outlines steps that facilities must take under the new testing requirements, including instruction on terms of frequency, reporting, documentation, and other requirements and a revised facility survey tool for program compliance. For resources:
Provider Relief Fund
- HHS announced that it has distributed nearly $2.5 billion of a $5 billion distribution of CARES Act Provider Relief Fund grants to nursing homes to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment needs.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the first antigen test where results can be read directly from the testing card, a design similar to some pregnancy tests. This test, which would be administered by a health care provider and not the patient, does not require laboratory analysis and yields results in 15 minutes. This is the test being described in the press as a $5 test. Learn more from this FDA news release and the FDA’s emergency use authorization.
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