The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23.
Provider Relief Fund
- The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance on how funds received through the Provider Relief Fund should be audited. The guidance also extends audit filing deadlines for three months for recipients whose original audit due dates are between October 1, 2020 and June 20, 2021.
- HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with three new questions on pages 5 and 6 addressing the Form 1099. All are marked “Added 12/18/2020.”
- HHS has updated the Provider Relief Fund web page with updated information about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- The CMS online publication MLN Connects has posted a notice about a COVID-19 vaccine billing issue.
- The same publication includes information about ICD-10 code files for FY 2021 in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- MLN Connects also posts updated codes and links for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
- CMS has published a list of hospitals approved to participate in its Hospital Without Walls initiative’s Acute Hospital Care at Home program.
- CMS also has updated its FAQ for the Acute Hospital Care at Home program.
- CMS has released guidance intended to help states restore regular Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program operations after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. See the FDA’s news release on its action, a joint statement from HHS and the Department of Defense, and a statement from the NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
- The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the use by health care providers of a product that provides an extra layer of barrier protection to prevent exposure to pathogenic biological airborne particulates from hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 at the time of definitive airway management, when performing airway-related medical procedures, or during certain transport of such patients for a maximum duration of 30 minutes. Go here to see the FDA’s letter of emergency use authorization; go here for a fact sheet for health care providers; and go here for information for health care providers about how to use the approved equipment.
- The FDA has approved an abbreviated new drug application for succinylcholine chloride injection, which is indicated, in addition to general anesthesia, to facilitate tracheal intubation and to provide skeletal muscle relaxation during surgery or mechanical ventilation, such as for COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its guidelines for health care providers and others on collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens of COVID-19
- The CDC has updated its information on caring for pediatric patients suffering from COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated information or guidance on a number of COVID-19 vaccine-related matters, including:
- its interim recommendations for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines
- advice about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers
- FAQs on COVID-19 vaccinations
- information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
- what patients should expect after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
- information about allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines
- background information about vaccines delivered through messenger RNA (often referred to as “mRNA vaccines”)
- guidance on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations for residents of long-term-care facilities
- testing guidelines for patients in outpatient hemodialysis facilities
- The CDC has posted information about the implications of the emerging COVID-19 variant.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for health care facilities on managing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Institutes of Health
- The NIH has summarized research suggesting that pregnant women in their third trimester are unlikely to pass the COVID-19 infection to newborns.
American Medical Association
- The American Medical Association has announced updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set to include immunization and administration codes for a COVID-19 vaccine under development by Astra Zeneca and the University of Oxford. This vaccine has not yet been approved.