Coronavirus Update for June 3

Coronavirus update for Wednesday, June 3 as of 12:00 p.m.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • HHS has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ.  See additions on pages 5, 14, and 20.  Providers should review these additions carefully.
  • HHS announced that the next deadline for submitting data to inform the agency’s distribution of its supply of remdesivir is Monday, June 8 at 8 p.m. (eastern).  HHS is requesting the same data as last month’s remdesivir request:  the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and of those hospitalized, the number requiring placement in ICUs.  Hospitals should submit the data using the HHS TeleTracking web portal. ​
  • HHS has provided $250 million to help health care systems treating patients and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to an HHS news release, the money will support hospitals and other health care entities to train workers, expand telemedicine and the use of virtual health care, procure supplies and equipment, and coordinate across jurisdictions and facilities.  Most of this money is going to state hospital associations for distribution.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor has issued an alert with information about how to keep stockroom and loading dock workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  See an announcement about the alert and the alert itself.

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.

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NASH Calls for More COVID-19 Legislation

On Tuesday the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals wrote to Senate leaders and asked them to advance legislation with five major COVID-19-related policy initiatives that private safety-net hospitals seek:

  1. An additional $100 billion for hospitals.
  2. A 14-point increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).
  3. A 2.5 percent increase in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments and another delay in implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in those allotments.
  4. Reduced interest rates and a longer payback period for Medicare payments advanced to hospitals through the CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.
  5. Prevention of implementation of the Medicare fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR).

Learn more from NASH’s letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, June 2

Coronavirus update for Tuesday, June 2, 2020 as of 2:45 p.m.

NASH Advocacy

On Tuesday, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals wrote to Senate leaders and asked them to advance legislation with five major COVID-19-related policy initiatives:

  1. An additional $100 billion for hospitals.
  2. A 14-point increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).
  3. A 2.5 percent increase in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments and another delay in implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in those allotments.
  4. Reduced interest rates and a longer payback period for Medicare payments advanced to hospitals through the CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.
  5. Prevention of implementation of the Medicare fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR).

Learn more from NASH’s letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

On Monday NASH submitted formal comments to CMS on an interim final rule published in April to help health care providers respond to the COVID-19 emergency.  NASH expressed support for the changes CMS introduced.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Food and Drug Administration

The Joint Commission

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 Monday, June 1

Coronavirus update for Monday, June 1 as of 3:00 pm.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has added to and modified its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ.  Find additions on pages 2, 4, 5, 8, 23, 24, and 25 and modifications on pages 8, 9, and 19.  The latest changes are identified as added or modified on 5/26 or 5/29.  Providers should review these changes carefully.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.  Call details are below.  Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast.  Calls recordings and transcripts also are posted on the CMS podcast page here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls (Tuesdays at 5:00 – 6:00 PM eastern)

Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to increase hospital capacity, expand their health care workforce, and promote greater use of telehealth in Medicare.

Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4474407

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM eastern)

Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.  Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their COVID-19 response. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters.

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Code: 6583696

Web Link:  go here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA is making its previously developed FDA MyStudies app available to investigators as a free platform to securely obtain patients’ informed consent for eligible clinical trials when face-to-face contact is not possible or practical due to COVID-19 control measures. FDA MyStudies is now referred to as COVID MyStudies in the Apple App store and in the Google Play store.
  • The FDA has approved emergency use authorization for a new commercial home diagnostic test for COVID-19.
  • The FDA has approved emergency use authorizations for three new commercial laboratory serology tests for COVID-19. Find those authorizations here, here, and here.

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 29, 2020

Coronavirus update for Friday, May 29 as of 2:30 p.m.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • In the past week CMS issued five section 1135 waivers to give states greater flexibility to serve their Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  It issued waivers to Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Vermont.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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: 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.)