Coronavirus Update for Wednesday, July 15

The following is the latest information from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

NASH Advocacy

  • NASH has endorsed a House bill, HR 7606, that would delay implementation of the Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR) until the Government Accountability Office has an opportunity to assess its impact on individual states and identify the Medicaid transparency issues that need to be addressed. NASH called on CMS to withdraw this proposed rule in a January letter.  The MFAR Transparency Act, sponsored by representatives Roger Williams (R-TX) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), also would prevent implementation of MFAR without specific authorization from Congress.  See NASH’s letter to the bill’s sponsors here.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has implemented new data reporting requirements for hospitals that took effect today. In some respects, these requirements differ significantly from recent practices.  Go here to see the detailed HHS document “COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting and FAQs For Hospitals, Hospital Laboratory, and Acute Care Facility Data Reporting.” Readers who would like to receive a copy of NASH’s memo about these new reporting requirements should contact NASH via the email address at the bottom of this blog post.
  • HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration has posted a fact sheet on the Provider Relief Fund’s next distribution for Medicaid and CHIP providers. The fact sheet includes information about eligibility criteria and application requirements.  Applications are due July 20.
  • HHS has made three additions to its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ. All are marked “7/14/2020.”  Providers should go here and review the changes carefully.
  • HHS announced a large-scale procurement of rapid point-of-care diagnostic test instruments and tests to be distributed to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspot areas. This initiative has been described as a one-time procurement of devices and tests targeted to facilitate on-site testing among nursing home residents and staff.  Distribution will begin next week.  Learn more from this HHS announcement.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • The CMS online publication MLN Matters has published the article “Quarterly Update for Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment.” Providers can learn about COVID-19 codes 87426, 0223U and 0224U.
  • CMS and the CDC are holding a national webinar on “Establishing an Infection Prevention Program in a Nursing Home, With an Emphasis on COVID-19” on Thursday, July 16 at 4:00 (eastern). Advance Registration Required:  Register here.  This webinar is open to nursing home leaders, clinical and administrative staff members, and others interested in nursing home infection prevention in the era of COVID-19.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has added dexamethasone sodium phosphate to the lists of drugs for temporary compounding by outsourcing facilities and pharmacy compounders during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These updates help address shortages and access concerns affecting some drugs urgently needed for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
  • The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for three commercial diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Find them here, here, and here.
  • The FDA has issued EUAs for two commercial serology tests for COVID-19. Find them here and here.
  • The FDA has added a new device to its list of authorized ventilator accessories: a CPAP mask that has been modified by combining it with an N95 mask.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Internal Revenue Service

Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals

  • NASH has prepared a document that collects and presents in one place the various new federal funding opportunities for hospitals resulting from legislation addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Find that document here.

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