The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.
Provider Relief Fund
- A reminder that applications for Phase 3 general distribution payments are due November 6.
- HHS has made one change in the Provider Relief Fund FAQ: on pages 15 and 16 is one new question and answer:
“At the bottom of page 1 of the reporting requirements announcement in PDF, Step 2 states “PRF payment amounts not fully expended on healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus are then applied to patient care lost revenues, net of the healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus calculated under step 1.” Is the underlined language still applicable under the reporting requirements notice that HHS posted on October 22, 2020?” (Added 11/2/2020)
“No, healthcare related expenses are no longer netted against the patient care lost revenue amount in Step 2. A revised notice will be posted to remove this language.”
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS has published a document with answers to questions about vaccine distribution and planning sent to it by the National Governors Association.
- HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has updated its warning to the public about COVID-19-related fraud, including schemes that target long-term-care facilities, drawing blood from patients and then billing Medicare for tests that were never performed, and schemes that involve telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has launched a new online platform, the Nursing Home Resource Center, to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance, and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents, and their families as the fight against COVID-19 continues. Go here to see CMS’s announcement about the new resource and find the new Nursing Home Resource Center here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its guidance on how laboratories should report their COVID-19 data.
- The CDC has updated its “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations.” This document is intended to serve as an interim playbook for state, territorial, tribal, and local public health plans and their partners on how to operationalize COVID-19 vaccinations in their jurisdictions. The document covers specific areas of COVID-19 vaccination program planning and implementation and provides guidance documents and links to resources to assist those efforts.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on scientific evidence for conditions that increase patients’ risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19.
- The CDC’s weekly morbidity and mortality report presents updated information about the characteristics of symptomatic women of reproductive age with confirmed COVID-19 by pregnancy status in the U.S. between January 22 and October 3.
- The CDC’s weekly morbidity and mortality report presents new research on birth and infant outcomes following pregnancies that involved a COVID-19 infection.
National Institutes of Health
- The NIH has published a request for information inviting comments and suggestions on the NIH’s strategic plan for COVID-19 research.
Department of Labor
- The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued respiratory protection guidance focused on protecting workers in nursing homes, assisted living, and other long-term-care facilities from occupational exposure to COVID-19. Go here to see the announcement and find the guidance itself here.
- The Federal Reserve Board has changed the terms of its Main Street Lending Program by reducing the minimum loan for three Main Street facilities available to for-profit and non-profit borrowers from $250,000 to $100,000 and reducing fees to encourage the provision of these smaller loans. It also issued a new FAQ clarifying that Paycheck Protection Program loans of up to $2 million may be excluded for purposes of determining the maximum loan size under the Main Street Lending Program if certain requirements are met. See the Federal Reserve’s announcement of these changes and find links to resources involving the Main Street Lending Program here.