The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17.
CDC Webinar on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines
- The CDC will hold a clinical outreach and communication activity webinar on Friday, December 18 at 2:00 (eastern) to give clinicians an overview of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Clinicians will learn about vaccine characteristics and administration, vaccinating special populations, and contraindications. They will also get answers to a number of clinical questions CDC has received about these new vaccines. Go here for further information about the webinar and to register to participate.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has updated its COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service billing to clarify when and how laboratories may submit claims for COVID-19 add-on payments when performing COVID-19 diagnostic tests using high-throughput technology. See three new questions on page 17 for further information.
- CMS has sent a memo to state Medicaid agencies about infection control for psychiatric and intermediate-care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
CMS COVID-19 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.
COVID-19 Office Hours Call
Tuesday, December 22 at 5:00 (eastern)
Toll Free Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 3968359
Audio Webcast link: go here.
Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast.
To listen to the audio files and read the transcripts for past stakeholder calls, go here.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has posted the following materials:
- HHS has announced three ways the federal government will continue supporting COVID-19 testing efforts by states and territories, especially for nursing homes, into the first quarter of 2021:
- by providing weekly shipments of COVID-19 sample collection supplies to states and territories through at least March 2021 and likely longer;
- by collaborating with the General Services Administration to provide a streamlined process for states, territories, and other government agencies to purchase point-of-care diagnostic tests; and
- by allocating an additional 30 million tests that can be performed by patients or their aides, with a doctor’s prescription, for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care, hospice organizations, historically Black colleges and universities, tribes, and other vulnerable groups.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report presents the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ interim recommendation for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- The same weekly report presents research on telehealth practices among health centers during the COVID-19 pandemic and research on health center testing for COVID-19 during the current public health emergency.
- The CDC has updated its clinical FAQs on COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its recommendations for infection prevention and control for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in outpatient hemodialysis facilities.