Coronavirus Update: May 28, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, May 28 as of 2:30 p.m.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has updated its COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service billing with additional or revised answers to the following sections:
    • Expansion of Virtual Communication Services for FQHCs/RHCs – questions 11-23
    • Medicare Telehealth (please note that these FAQs do not include flexibilities that might be exercised under the CARES act) – questions 23-33
    • General Billing Requirements – questions 2 and 3
    • Diagnosis Coding under International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) – question 1
    • Chronic Care Management Services – question 1
    • Outpatient Therapy Services – questions 1-3

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals

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

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 27, 2020

Coronavirus update for Wednesday, May 27 as of 2:30 p.m.

NASH Advocacy

  • NASH has written to congressional leaders and asked them to include forgiveness for loans provided to hospitals through the CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program in future COVID-19/economic stimulus legislation.  The letter notes how helpful the loans were but also explains that private safety-net hospitals continue to face major financial challenges, including a possible second wave of COVID-19 cases.  See that letter here.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

  • ASPR TRACIE, sponsored by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to provide Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) services, in collaboration with the HHS/FEMA COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Task Force, is hosting the webinar “Ensuring Healthcare Safety Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic” to share experiences and lessons learned from innovators in the field. Learn more here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals

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

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

NASH Asks Congress to Forgive Loans From Accelerated and Advance Payment Program

Include forgiveness for the resources the federal government provided to hospitals through the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program in the next COVID-19/economic stimulus bill, NASH has asked congressional leaders.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals acknowledged the importance of the program’s funds in enabling private safety-net hospitals to “…keep their lights on, their supply closets fully stocked, and their teams of heroic caregivers paid” but observed that

…COVID-19 has done profound damage to our people and to our economy, and it has had a similar impact on many providers, including private safety-net hospitals.

Because health experts believe the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended and may return later this year, NASH wrote that

Forgiving the loans provided through the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program and continuing the uninterrupted flow of payments for the services we provide to our Medicare patients will help ensure that we are there when our communities and our country need us, now and in the future.

See NASH’s letter to congressional leaders here.

Coronavirus Update for May 26, 2020

Coronavirus update for Tuesday, May 26 as of 2:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Health and Human Services/Office of the Inspector General

  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has announced the release of its strategic plan for oversight of the COVID-19 response and recovery. Go here for the announcement and here to see the plan itself.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

National Institutes of Health

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

 

Coronavirus Update for May 22, 2020

Coronavirus update for Friday, May 22 as of 3:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • In the past week CMS issued seven section 1135 waivers to give states greater flexibility to serve their Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  It issued three such waivers to Rhode Island, two to Texas, and one each to North Dakota and Virginia.

CMS Weekly Stakeholder Calls

COVID-19: Lessons from the Front Lines Calls — May 29

Friday, May 29 from 12:30 to 2 pm ET

These weekly calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians share their experiences, ideas, strategies, and insights related to their COVID-19 responses.  There is an opportunity to ask questions.

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 877-251-0301; Access Code: 6350189

COVID-19: Home Health and Hospice Call — May 26

3 to 3:30 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate:

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4666966

COVID-19: Office Hours Call — May 26

Tuesdays from 5 to 6 pm ET

Hospitals, health systems, and providers: Ask CMS questions about its temporary actions that enable providers to increase hospital capacity, expand the health care workforce, and promote telehealth.

To Participate:

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 8977438

Target Audience: Hospitals, health systems, and providers.

COVID-19: Nursing Home Call — May 27

Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate:

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 1243649

Target Audience: Nursing home providers.

COVID-19: Dialysis Organization Call — May 27

Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate:

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 6152699

Target Audience: Dialysis organizations.

COVID-19: Nurses Call — May 28

Thursdays from 3 to 3:30 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate:

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2988422

Target Audience: Nurses.

Prior Authorization Process and Requirements for Certain Outpatient Hospital Department Services Special Open Door Forum — May 28

Thursday, May 28 from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

CMS invites hospitals, physicians, practitioners, and other Medicare stakeholders to discuss the prior authorization of certain outpatient hospital department services from the following categories: blepharoplasty, botulinum toxin injections, panniculectomy, rhinoplasty, and vein ablation.

For More Information:

Participation Instructions:

  • Participant Dial-In Number: 888-455-1397
  • Conference ID #: 9375124

COVID-19: Lessons from the Front Lines Calls — May 29

Friday, May 29 from 12:30 to 2 pm ET

These weekly calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians share their experiences, ideas, strategies, and insights related to their COVID-19 responses.  There is an opportunity to ask questions.

  • Conference lines are limited; CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast
  • Or call 877-251-0301; Access Code: 6350189

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Congressional Research 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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 21, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, May 21 as of 3:30 p.m.

NASH Advocacy

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 20, 2020

Coronavirus update for May 20, 2020 as of 2:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has updated its FAQ for the distribution of CARES Act money through the Provider Relief Fund on four occasions in the past two weeks, including new updates dated yesterday.  Updates from yesterday include instructions on attestation and questions about change in ownership.  Go here to see the changes, which are identified within the document.
  • HHS announced that its Health Resources and Services Administration provided $225 million to rural health clinics for COVID-19 testing and shared a state-by-state breakdown of the funding.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Congressional Research Service

Department of Labor

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 19, 2020

Coronavirus update for May 19, 2020 as of 2:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has updated its FAQ for the distribution of CARES Act money through the Provider Relief Fund on three occasions in the past two weeks. Go here to see the changes, which are identified within the document.
  • HHS is providing $11 billion in new funding to support COVID-19 testing to states, territories, and tribes. States must submit to HHS their projected month-to-month testing plans and capabilities for the rest of calendar year 2020.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

National Institutes of Health

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 18, 2020

Coronavirus update for May 18, 2020

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Weekly Stakeholder Calls

COVID-19: Office Hours Call — May 19

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm ET

Hospitals, health systems, and providers: Ask CMS questions about its temporary actions.

To Participate on May 19:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 9984433

Target Audience: Physicians and other clinicians

COVID-19: Home Health and Hospice Call — May 19

Tuesdays from 3 to 3:30 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance. Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate on May 19:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 6477704

COVID-19: Nursing Home Call — May 20

Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate on May 20:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4879622

COVID-19: Dialysis Organization Call — May 20

Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate on May 20:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 3287645

COVID-19: Nurses Call — May 21

Thursdays from 3 to 3:30 pm ET

These calls provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance.  Leaders in the field also share best practices.  There is an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.

To Participate on May 21:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join  via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2874976

COVID-19: Office Hours Call — May 21

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm ET

Hospitals, health systems, and providers: Ask CMS questions about its temporary actions.

To Participate on May 21:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 9984433

Target Audience: Physicians and other clinicians

COVID-19: Lessons from the Front Lines Call — May 22

Fridays from 12:30 to 2 pm ET

These weekly calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians: Share your experience, ideas, strategies, and insights related to your COVID-19 response. There is an opportunity to ask questions.

To Participate on May 22:

  • Conference lines are limited but you also can join via audio webcast
  • Or, call 877-251-0301; Access Code: 6086125

To catch up on past calls, go here for transcripts and podcasts.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • ASPR TRACIE, sponsored by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to provide Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) services, has published a summary on funding for alternative care sites for helping to increase hospital surge capacity in communities overwhelmed by patients diagnosed with COVID-19.  In particular, see the charts on pages 3 and 4.
  • HHS will be distributing another large quantity of the drug remdesivir to state health departments later this week.  Those state health departments, in turn, will distribute the drug to their states’ hospitals as they believe appropriate.  This distribution is about the same size as last week’s.  Another, smaller distribution is expected next week.

Neither this week’s nor next week’s distributions require any action by hospitals; they do not have to provide any data through the COVID-19 teletracking portal.

Gilead, manufacturer of remdesivir, is expected to donate more than 300,000 additional vials to the federal government in early June.  Hospitals will be asked to input their COVID-19 data through the teletracking portal in early June as that next donation draws closer.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)

Coronavirus Update for May 15, 2020

Coronavirus update for Friday, May 15 as of 2:30 p.m.

NASH Advocacy

NASH wrote on Thursday to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to point out a published report describing the degree to which its second distribution of Provider Relief Fund money, based on hospitals’ net revenue, disadvantaged hospitals that serve especially high proportions of publicly insured patients.  See NASH’s letter here.

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS and its Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will award $5 million in fiscal year 2020 to support novel, high-impact studies that evaluate the responsiveness of health care delivery systems, health care professionals, and the overall U.S. health care system to the COVID-19 pandemic.   See HHS’s announcement of the grant program here and find the full funding announcement here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC issued a health advisory through its health alert network with background information on several cases of a recently reported multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19.  The advisory includes a case definition for this syndrome and the CDC’s recommendation that providers report any patient who meets the case definition to local, state, and territorial health departments to enhance knowledge of risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course, and treatment of this syndrome.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA issued an update to its guidance for pharmacy compounders that experience shortages of the personal protective equipment they typically use to compound human drugs that are intended or expected to be sterile.  In the update, FDA clarifies that drugs can be compounded under the policy in a segregated compounding area that is not in a cleanroom when specific beyond-use dates are used.

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.

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@safetynetalliance.org.)