The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 5.
Provider Relief Fund
- A reminder that applications for Phase 3 general distribution payments are due Friday, November 6.
- HHS has updated the Provider Relief Fund FAQ with two modified items; the second bullet below addresses the deadline for Phase 3 applications.
- p. 6 – Does HHS intend to recoup any payments made to providers not tied to specific claims for reimbursement, such as the General or Targeted Distribution payments? ( Modified 11/5/2020)
The Provider Relief Fund and the Terms and Conditions require that recipients be able to demonstrate that lost revenues and increased expenses attributable to COVID-19, excluding expenses and losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse, exceed total payments from the Relief Fund. Provider Relief Fund payment amounts that have not been fully expended on the combination of healthcare expenses and lost revenues attributable to coronavirus by the end of the final reporting period, must be returned to HHS. HHS reserves the right to audit Relief Fund recipients in the future to ensure that this requirement is met and collect any Relief Fund amounts that were made in error or exceed lost revenue or increased expenses due to COVID-19. Failure to comply with the Terms and Conditions may be grounds for recoupment.
- p. 41 – Tax Identification Number (TIN) Validation Process
When is the deadline to submit an application? (Modified 11/5/2020)
The deadline to submit an application under Phase 3 – General Distribution is November 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST for those that have had their TIN validated in Phase 2 or received funds as part of Phase 1. Any entity that has not yet received any General Distribution payments must submit their TIN for validation by November 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. If the TIN is validated by November 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST, the entity will have until November 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST to submit an application.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has posted FAQs about the information-blocking provisions of the regulation it published last week extending until April of 2021 the agency’s deadline for complying with its information-blocking requirements. Find those FAQs here.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS’s online publication MLN Connects directs providers and others to its COVID-19 vaccine toolkit for information about preparing to administer such vaccines when they become available.
- CMS has updated its provider-specific fact sheets on new COVID-19-related waivers and flexibilities for the following providers:
- Home Health Agencies
- Physicians and Other Practitioners
- Teaching Hospitals, Teaching Physicians and Medical Residents
- Long Term Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities and/or Nursing Facilities
- Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
- Long Term Care Hospitals & Extended Neoplastic Disease Care Hospitals
- Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
- End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Participants in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
- Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans
- Medicare Shared Savings Program Participants
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its interim infection prevention and control recommendations for health care personnel during the COVID-19 emergency.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for the management and clinical care of patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its clinical guidelines for the collection, handling, and testing of clinical specimens from persons with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its COVID-19 FAQs.
- The CDC has updated its explanation of its role in serology testing and has updated its guidance on the use of serology testing.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in community pharmacies during the COVID-19 emergency. The updated guidance focuses on protecting both pharmacy staff and customers.
- The CDC has updated its information regarding considerations for optimizing providers’ supplies of powered air-purifying respirators.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on considerations for wearing masks.
- The CDC has published data about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy.
- The CDC’s weekly morbidity and mortality report presents new research on the impact of engaging in telework on the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests among symptomatic patients at outpatient facilities.
- The CDC’s weekly morbidity and mortality report presents research on birth and infant outcomes following confirmed COVID-19 infections during pregnancy.
- The CDC has published a request for information in which it states that it seeks “…to partner with one or more organizations that have the infrastructure, capability, scalability, and safeguards to enable centralized public health laboratory data reporting from testing entities to state and large local health departments, with a focus on multi-state, large regional, and state-wide reporting entities.” Find the CDC request for information here.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has alerted clinical laboratory staff and health care providers that false positive results can occur with antigen tests for the rapid detection of COVID-19. The FDA is aware of reports of false positive results associated with antigen tests used in nursing homes and other settings and continues to monitor and evaluate these reports and other available information about device safety and performance.
Congressional Research Service
- The Congressional Research Service has updated its report “The COVID-19 Health Care Provider Relief Fund.”
- The Congressional Research Service has updated its report “COVID-19 and the Uninsured: Federal Funding Options to Pay Providers for Testing and Treatment.”