Coronavirus Update for Wednesday, September 23

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23.

Continuing Resolution to Fund the Federal Government

  • The House has passed, and the Senate is expected to take up and pass as soon as this week, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government from the beginning of the new fiscal year, on October 1, through December 11; the president is expected to sign the measure.  Key health care provisions in this continuing resolution include:
    • Changes in the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program that extend the period before repayment begins and the period before the balance must be repaid in full; reduce the recoupment percentage; and lower the interest rates for this and comparable programs.
    • A delay in the Affordable Care Act-mandated reduction of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states through December 11.
    • Extended funding for Community Health Centers, the National Health Services Corps, and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program through December 11.
    • Extended funding for the Special Diabetes Program through December 11.
    • Extended authorization for the certified community behavioral health clinics demonstration program through December 11.
    • Clarification that drugs and biologicals used for medication-assisted treatment, which must be covered by Medicaid beginning on October 1, will continue to be eligible for rebates under the Medicaid program.

Provider Relief Fund

  • HHS’s Provider Relief Fund FAQ has been updated with four new questions that address nursing home quality payments.  The new questions, all marked “Added 9/18/2020,” can be found on pages 46 through 48 of the FAQ.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • On Thursday, September 24 at 4:00 (eastern), CMS and CDC will hold a “CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management Call.”  Go here for information on how to register and submit questions.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has updated the question-and-answer appendix in its guidance “Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.”  The updated guidance includes a new question and answer about a clinical trial investigator’s responsibility to review all investigational new drug application safety reports, including reports that will not result in a change of the investigator brochure, informed consent, or protocol.

Federal Reserve System

  • The Federal Reserve System has updated its FAQs for the Main Street Lending Program, which supports lending to small and medium-sized for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic but lack access to credit on reasonable terms.  Go here for the announcement of the updated FAQs and for links to the FAQs themselves.