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Coronavirus Update for Wednesday, July 8

The following is the latest information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has published an FAQ addressing matters involving provider burden relief.
  • In March, CMS published a memo “…granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for acute care hospitals, Prospective Payment System (PPS)-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, renal dialysis facilities, and Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians for all providers and suppliers…” participating in certain CMS quality data reporting programs.  Those exceptions have now expired.  Providers may request exceptions to the restored quality data reporting requirements using this form.
  • In its online publication MLN Matters, CMS has revised past guidance with a new point-of-origin code for the transfer of patients from a designated disaster alternate care site.  The article introduces a new Point of Origin (PoO) Code “G” to indicate a “Transfer from a Designated Disaster Alternative Care Site (ACS)” due to changes related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • CMS has updated the MLN Matters article “New and Expanded Flexibilities for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE)” to clarify how Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers can apply the Cost Sharing (CS) modifier to preventive services furnished via telehealth.
  • CMS has published its proposed end-stage renal disease prospective payment system for calendar year 2021.  In it the agency proposes, at least in part in response to the COVID-19 emergency, “…that certain new and innovative equipment and supplies used for dialysis treatment of patients with ESRD in the home would qualify for an additional Medicare payment.  These proposed changes would encourage the development of certain new and innovative home dialysis machines that would give beneficiaries more dialysis treatment options in the home…”  The changes include rate increases and add-on payments.  See CMS’s news release about the proposed rule here and a CMS fact sheet here and go here to see the rule itself.

CMS COVID-19 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.

Home Health and Hospice Calls

Tuesday, July 21st at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  6080197

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, July 14th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2550919

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Tuesday, July 21st at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7477995

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Tuesday, July 28th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:833-614-0820; Access Passcode:1492795

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Nursing Homes Call

Wednesday, July 22nd at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  1143564

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Dialysis Organizations Call

Wednesday, July 22nd at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7692208

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Nurses Call

Thursday, July 9th at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  9386539

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Thursday, July 23rd at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  7971869

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Lessons from the Front Lines

Friday, July 17th at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Code: 3096434

Web Link:  go here.

Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio.  To listen to the audio files and read the transcripts for the COVID-19 Stakeholder calls, visit CMS’s Podcast and Transcripts page.

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Environmental Protection Agency

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.)

NASH Asks Senate for COVID-19 Help

Private safety-net hospitals need help with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency, NASH wrote yesterday in a letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Charles Schumer.

In its letter, NASH asked for:

  • An additional $100 billion for hospitals.
  • Forgiveness for money provided to hospitals through the federal CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.
  • Action to prevent implementation of the Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation.
  • An increase in the federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP).
  • An increase in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments.
  • A moratorium on changes in hospital eligibility for the 340B prescription drug discount program, Medicare indirect medical education program, Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) program, and other programs.

See NASH’s letter here.

 

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, July 2

The following is the latest information from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2.

Reminder:  Submit COVID-19 Case Data

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has posted new FAQs for state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.  The new FAQs cover a variety of Medicaid and CHIP topics, including:
    • eligibility and enrollment
    • notice and fair hearings
    • optional COVID-testing group FAQs
    • premiums and cost-sharing
    • benefits
    • non-emergency medical transportation
    • information technology
    • financing

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for three new commercial diagnostic tests for COVID-19.  Find them here, here, and here.

Centers for Disease Control & 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 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.)

NASH Applauds HHS Movement Toward Extending Public Health Emergency

NASH has thanked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for his department’s public indication that it intends to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency.

With the declaration of a public health emergency has become regulatory flexibilities that have enabled private safety-net hospitals and other providers to do a better job serving their patients and their communities in the current, challenging environment.

See NASH’s letter here.

Coronavirus Update for Friday, June 26

Coronavirus update for Friday, June 26 as of 3:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Department of Labor

Government Accountability Office

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 Monday, June 22

Coronavirus update for Monday, June 22 as of 2:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund – Medicaid and SCHIP-Only Distribution Webcasts

On its Provider Relief Fund web page, HHS has posted the following notice:

HHS expects to distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers through the Provider Relief Fund.  Join our webcast to learn more about the application process.  Please pre-register to reserve a spot on your preferred date:

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2 PM ET

Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 2 PM ET

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts varied 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, either on your computer or smartphone web browser. Calls recordings and transcripts are posted on the CMS podcast page, which you can find here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

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 health care systems to increase hospital capacity, expand their health care workforce, and make greater use of telehealth in Medicare.

Tuesday, June 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  5775248

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Home Health and Hospice

Tuesday, June 23 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  3676539

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Nursing Homes

Wednesday, June 24 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  3089577

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Dialysis Organizations

Wednesday, June 24 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  6494855

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Nurses

Thursday, June 25 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  9496814

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Food and Drug Administration

  • On Tuesday, June 23 at 12 noon (eastern) the FDA, along with the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will host a seminar on importing respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for four new commercial COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Find them here, here, here, and here.
  • The FDA has issued an EUA for a new commercial COVID-19 serology test. Find it here.

Centers for Disease Control & 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 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 Thursday, June 18

Coronavirus update for Thursday, June 18 as of 3:00 p.m.

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund – Medicaid and SCHIP-Only Distribution Webcasts

On its Provider Relief Fund web page, HHS has posted the following notice:

HHS expects to distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers through the Provider Relief Fund.  Join our webcast to learn more about the application process.  Please pre-register to reserve a spot on your preferred date:

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has published “Healthcare System Considerations for Resumption of Services During COVID-19,” which highlights interrelated issues for the health care system to consider as systems address their current status, restore services that have been curbed, maintain readiness for potential future waves of COVID-19 patients, and adapt to improve their operations based on lessons learned.
  • COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice are a collaborative effort between HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center, and Project ECHO. These interactive virtual learning sessions aim to create a peer-to-peer learning network where clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes; time for participant Q & A is also included.  Three webinar topics are covered every week:
    • EMS: Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)
    • Critical Care: Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)
    • Emergency Department: Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM ET)

Find previous webinars and sign up to receive information on upcoming webinars.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control & 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 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 Tuesday, June 16

Coronavirus update for Tuesday, June 16 as of 2:30 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ, adding new questions on pages 9 and 32 that are labeled “Added 6/13/2020” and new questions on pages 8, 14, and 31 that are labeled “Added 6/15/2020.” Hospitals should pay particular attention to the new question and answer at the top of page 9 (added 6/13/2020), which describes the reporting requirements of grant recipients to ensure their compliance with the program’s terms and conditions.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Stakeholder Calls

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

“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.

Call details are below. Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast.

Friday, June 19 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Code:  2258722

Web Link:  go here.

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control & 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 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 Friday, June 12

Coronavirus update for Friday, June 12 as of 4:00 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • As we reported previously, HHS will be distributing $10 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Fund grants to hospitals that have served especially large numbers of COVID-19 patients. To apply for these grants, hospitals must submit data to HHS via its teletracking web site.  See below for:

Hospitals must submit their data no later than 9:00 pm (eastern) on Monday, June 15.

  • HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy rule permits covered health care providers to contact their patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their blood and plasma containing antibodies to help other patients with COVID-19. See the announcement here and the guidance here.

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 Delaware, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Food and Drug Administration

National Institutes of Health

  1. NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities is accepting applications for research to evaluate interventions that might lessen the impact of COVID-19 on populations that suffer from health disparities or other vulnerabilities to the virus.  Learn more here.
  2. 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 Wednesday, June 10

Coronavirus update for Wednesday, June 10 as of 3:00 p.m.

Department of Health and Human Services

On Tuesday HHS announced that it will be distributing $15 billion to clinicians and facilities that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and/or Medicaid and CHIP managed care organizations that have not yet received any general distribution grants from the Provider Relief Fund.

This funding is intended to supply relief to Medicaid and CHIP providers experiencing lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19.  Examples of providers serving Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries that may be eligible for this funding include pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists, dentists, opioid treatment and behavioral health providers, assisted living facilities, and other home and community-based services providers.

Providers that believe they may be eligible for this funding may submit their annual patient revenue information to a new provider relief portal to seek a distribution equal to at least two percent of their reported gross revenues from patient care; that portal is supposed to be established today but was not up at the time this update was written.

Learn more from:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Food and Drug Administration

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.)