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Coronavirus Update for Friday, February 26

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 on Friday, February 26.

Congress

The House Budget Committee has passed a COVID-19 relief bill.  The following is a summary of the bill’s major spending, how it differs from the previous proposals submitted to the Budget Committee by other House committees, and what the bill does not do.

Major Spending Categories

The bill, which calls for $1.9 trillion in federal spending and tax credits, proposes:

  • $350 billion for emergency aid to states, local, and tribal governments.
  • $195 billion for state governments, with most of it distributed based on states’ share of unemployed workers.
  • $130 billion for local governments.

Proposed Health Care-Related COVID-19 Response Spending

The bill proposes:

  • $46 billion for a national strategy for COVID-19 testing, mitigation, and surveillance.
  • $10 billion for producing emergency medical equipment and supplies, including testing materials, personal protective equipment, and drugs and devices.
  • $7.6 billion for a public health workforce that includes epidemiologists, investigators, and contract-tracers.
  • $7.6 billion for community health centers.
  • $17 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • $6.1 billion for the Indian Health Service.
  • $7.5 billion for the promoting, distributing, administering, and tracking COVID-19 vaccines.
  • $5.2 billion for COVID-19 vaccine research, manufacturing, and purchase and for the purchase of therapeutics and other products needed to treat COVID-19 and its variants.
  • $1.75 billion for community mental health block grants.
  • $1.75 billion for substance abuse prevention and treatment block grants.

Medicaid Provisions

The House bill includes several specific Medicaid provisions, including:

  • An increase of the federal medical assistance percentage – FMAP, the rate at which the federal government matches state Medicaid spending – to 95 percent for Medicaid expansion states.
  • A 100 percent federal match for Medicaid’s COVID-19 vaccine costs.
  • An increase of FMAP to 85 percent for Medicaid programs that employ community-based mobile crisis intervention services.
  • Extension of the 100 percent FMAP for two years for Medicaid services provided by urban Native American health organizations and native Hawaiian health care systems.
  • A requirement that Medicaid cover COVID-19 vaccines and treatment without cost-sharing until one year has passed after the end of the public health emergency.
  • Inclusion of outpatient drugs used to treat COVID-19 patients in Medicaid’s drug rebate program.

Changes From Previous Draft Legislation

The House bill includes several changes from legislation proposed last week:

  • The original draft legislation proposed giving states an option for five years to expand Medicaid eligibility to pregnant women postpartum for 12 months.  The length of time of this option has been extended to seven years.
  • A provision that would have made prison inmates eligible for Medicaid 30 days prior to their release was eliminated.
  • A proposed $1.8 billion for testing, contact-tracing, and monitoring of COVID-19 in congregate living settings has been eliminated.

Key Issues Not Addressed in the House Bill

The House bill does not:

  • Add any money to the Provider Relief Fund.
  • Extend the current moratorium on Medicare sequestration.
  • Address forgiveness for money provided to hospitals under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.

What’s Next?

The House is expected to begin deliberating on this bill this afternoon and to vote on it late tonight.  It is expected to pass with no Republican votes, after which it will go to the Senate.

The bill is not expected to survive in its current form in the Senate, where it will surely be modified.  The bill the House passes will include an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour but the Senate parliamentarian has already advised that such a measure is inappropriate in reconciliation, so that provision will be removed in the Senate.  It is not yet clear when the Senate might vote on the bill, what changes it might make, or what its prospects ultimately are in that chamber.  We should have a better idea about that next week.

Provider Relief Fund

  • HHS has made four additions and modifications in its Provider Relief Fund FAQ.  New questions on rural health clinics and Medicare cost reporting can be found on pp. 14 and 16 and a modified question on Medicare cost reporting can be found on page 17; all are marked “2/24/2021.”

A fourth change, a new question also marked 2/24/2021, can be found on page 16 and addresses Medicaid DSH payments and Provider Relief Fund money.

Question:

Are there any restrictions on how hospitals that receive Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments can use Provider Relief Fund General and Targeted Distribution payments?

Answer:

Yes. Providers may not use PRF payments to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse. Therefore, if a hospital has received Medicaid DSH payments for the uncompensated costs of furnishing inpatient and/or outpatient hospital services to Medicaid beneficiaries and to individuals with no source of third party coverage for the services, these expenses would be considered reimbursed by the Medicaid program and would not be eligible to be covered by money received from a General or Targeted Distribution payment. For more information on the calculation of the Medicaid hospital-specific DSH limit, see https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/downloads/covid-19-faqs.pdf.

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA announced that it is permitting undiluted frozen vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be transported and stored at conventional temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to two weeks.  This reflects an alternative to the preferred storage of the undiluted vials in an ultra-low temperature freezer between -80ºC to -60ºC (-112ºF to -76ºF).  Learn more from the FDA’s announcement of this new guidance and from its revised fact sheet for providers.

Coronavirus Update for Thursday, February 25

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 25.

The White House

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS’s Office of Civil Rights will not impose penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA rules involving covered health care providers or their business associates in connection with the good faith use of online or web-based applications for the scheduling of individual appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations during the COVID-19 emergency.  See HHS’s formal announcement of this policy.
  • HHS’s Office of Civil Rights has settled three discrimination complaints against a health system that denied disabled patients access to support persons because of COVID-19 hospital visitation restrictions.  The patients were not COVID-19 patients.  See HHS’s statement on the settlement.
  • HHS has updated its document on planning considerations for monoclonal antibody administration.

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

National Institutes of Health

  • People who have had evidence of a prior infection with COVID-19 appear to be well protected against being reinfected with the virus, at least for a few months, according to a newly published study from the National Cancer Institute.  This finding may explain why reinfection appears to be relatively rare and could have important public health implications, including decisions about returning to physical workplaces, school attendance, the prioritization of vaccine distribution, and other activities.

National Governors Association

  • The National Governors Association has written to President Biden to ask him to make the vaccine distribution process more transparent to the public and to coordinate federal decisions about using pharmacies and FQHCs to administer COVID-19 vaccines with state governments.  See the NGA letter here.

Coronavirus Update for Monday, February 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, February 22.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has updated its FAQ on Medicare COVID-19 billing issues with 13 new questions addressing vaccines, monoclonal antibody treatments, and ambulatory surgery centers functioning as acute-care hospitals during the public health emergency.  The questions, all labeled “2/19/2021,” can be found on pages 27-28, 135-137, and 152-153.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with an updated question about how applicants should set up an account of behalf of multiple subsidiaries as part of applying for a Phase 3 distribution.  Find the updated question on page 42.

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

 

Coronavirus Update for Friday, February 19

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Friday, February 19.

The White House

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has updated its “COVID-19 Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies” web page.  The page includes:
  • information about Medicare Part B payments for COVID-19 and certain monoclonal antibodies during the public health emergency
  • information about payment allowances and effective dates for COVID-19 vaccines and their administration
  • information about payment allowances and effective dates for COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies and their administration
  • links to other COVID-19 vaccine resources, monoclonal antibody resources, and Medicare coding and payment information
  • CMS has updated the FAQ for its Acute Hospital Care At Home Program and also updated its list of hospitals eligible to participate in that program.
  • CMS’s Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office has sent a memo to all dual-eligible special needs plans, PACE organizations, and Medicare-Medicaid plans to remind them “…of their unique opportunities to ensure equitable access and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine among individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.”  See that memo here.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has announced new actions to expand COVID-19 testing capacity across the country, improve the availability of tests, and better prepare for the threat of variants.  The $1.6 billion in new spending includes $650 million to expand testing in K-8 schools and underserved congregate settings, such as homeless shelters; $815 million to increase domestic manufacturing of testing supplies and raw materials; and $200 million to expand genomic sequencing capabilities to facilitate identifying new variants of COVID-19.  Learn more in this HHS news release and this White House fact sheet.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has updated its FAQ on how it will exercise its administrative enforcement authority on matters directly connected to the COVID-19 emergency with a new question about whether a non-provider philanthropic entity may contract to provide certain administrative services to a health care provider related to the operation of a COVID-19 vaccination site and be compensated on a per-vaccine basis.  See the new OIG question and answer here.

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has concluded that there is no credible evidence of food or food packaging associated with or a likely source of viral transmission of COVID-19.  See the FDA’s explanation.

 

NASH Unveils 2021 Advocacy Agenda

NASH has introduced its 2021 agenda.

In the coming year, NASH will:

  • Work to ensure that private safety-net hospitals receive the federal resources and regulatory assistance they need to help their low-income, medically underserved communities through the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Advocate the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and programs that enhance the ability of private safety-net hospitals to serve their communities more effectively.
  • Pursue enhanced access to Medicaid and to affordable, high-quality health insurance.
  • Urge Congress and the administration to work with safety-net hospitals and do more to address the social determinants of health to bring about health equity and better health outcomes in diverse and underserved communities.

To see NASH’s complete 2021 advocacy agenda, go here.

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, February 16

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has announced new staff appointments.  They are:

Office of the Secretary
Sean McCluskie, Chief of Staff
Anne Reid, Deputy Chief of Staff
Dawn O’Connell, Senior Counselor, COVID Response
Sarah Despres, Counselor for Public Health and Science
Kristin Avery, White House Liaison
Kathryn Alvarez, Deputy Chief of Staff, COVID Response
Perrie Briskin, Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff
David Kessler, Chief Science Officer, COVID Response
Shannon Myricks, Deputy White House Liaison
Esmeralda Orozco, Special Assistant for Scheduling
AJ Pearlman, Chief of Staff, COVID Response
Clare Pierce-Wrobel, Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff
Kashif Syed, Senior Advisor to the Executive Secretary
Lizeth Zardeneta, Executive Assistant and Briefing Book Coordinator

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Josh Peck, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement
Ian Sams, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (COVID Response)
Kirsten Allen, National Press Secretary (COVID Response)
Zachary Dembner, Press Assistant
Sean Higgins, Press Secretary
Luisana Pérez Fernández, Press Secretary

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation
Kimberly Espinosa, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation
Kelsey Mellette, Special Assistant

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Ben Sommers, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Kacey Wulff, Chief of Staff

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration
Thomas Berry, Special Assistant

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Max Lesko, Chief of Staff for the Surgeon General
Jessica Scruggs, Senior Advisor and Director of Scheduling and Advance for the Surgeon General

Office of the General Counsel
Lisa Barclay, Deputy General Counsel
Paul Rodriguez, Deputy General Counsel

Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Marvin Figueroa, Director
Yvanna Cancela, Principal Deputy Director
Destiny Gregg, Confidential Assistant

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Micky Tripathi, National Health Information Technology Coordinator
Jordan Hefcart, Special Assistant

Office of Global Affairs
Karoun Tcholakian, Special Assistant to the Director

Administration for Community Living
Alison Barkoff, Principal Deputy Administrator
Reyma McCoy McDeid, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities

Administration for Children and Families
Larry Handerhan, Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor
Jose Garibay Medrano, Special Assistant for the Office of Refugee Resettlement
Lanikque Howard, Director of the Office of Community Services and Senior Advisor on Asset Building
Jenifer Smyers, Chief of Staff for the Office of Refugee Resettlement

Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services
Arielle Woronoff, Director of the Office of Legislation

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Sonia Chessen, Chief of Staff

Provider Relief Fund

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Coronavirus Update for Thursday, February 11

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 11.

The White House

  • The White House has announced the membership of its COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.  See this White House fact sheet to learn more about the task force, its objectives, and its members.
  • The White House has announced the introduction of a community health center vaccination program next week, with doses of vaccines to be sent directly to such facilities, and an increase in the supply of vaccines to be shared with states, tribes, and territories.  Learn more from a White House fact sheet.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires Medicare Part B to cover beneficiary cost-sharing for provider visits when a COVID-19 diagnostic test is administered or ordered.  CMS has updated the list of codes (note:  this link leads to a zip file that can be downloaded) that physicians and non-physician practitioners can use with the Cost-Sharing (CS) modifier.  Go here to learn more.
  • CMS has revised the MLN Matters article “Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” to clarify billing instructions in the skilled nursing facility benefit period waiver – provider information section.
  • CMS has modified the previously extended deadline for third quarter 2020 submission of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) data and extended the submission deadline for electronic clinical quality measures for acute-care hospitals and prospective payment system-exempt cancer hospitals.  Learn more about how this affects specific reporting requirements and their changing deadlines.

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, February 9

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2769397

Audio Webcast link:  go here

CMS National Training Program Medicare Update & Education Webinar

Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. (eastern)

CMS shares Medicare updates and coverage information related to the COVID-19 emergency and discusses partner resources, Medicare coverage for related services, testing, and the COVID-19 vaccine.  To register for this webinar, go here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Labor

  • The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement COVID-19 prevention programs and better identify risks that could lead to exposure and contracting the virus.  Go here to see the announcement of the new guidelines and go here for the guidelines themselves.

Coronavirus Update for Friday, February 5

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 5.

NASH Advocacy

  • This week NASH wrote to congressional leaders on behalf of private safety-net hospitals asking them to include in the administration’s COVID-19 relief bill:
    • more resources for the Provider Relief Fund
    • additional targeted funding for safety-net hospitals
    • help with staffing
    • an extension of the current moratorium on the Medicare sequestration
    • forgiveness for safety-net hospitals for loans they received under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program

See NASH’s letter to congressional leaders here.

NASH will engage in additional advocacy in the coming days.

The White House

Provider Relief Fund

A new proposal has been adopted by the Senate to include $35 billion for the Provider Relief Fund in the administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

HHS and CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information about 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 participants an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2528725

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4177586

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Tuesday, April 6 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

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Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

NASH Presents COVID-19 Relief Needs to Congress

The next COVID-19 relief bill should include more resources for the Provider Relief Fund, additional targeted funding for safety-net hospitals, help with staffing, an extension of the current moratorium on the Medicare sequestration, and forgiveness for safety-net hospitals for loans they received under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program.

This was the message the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals conveyed this week in a letter to congressional leaders.  See that letter here.