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Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, November 24

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24.

Provider Relief Fund

The Provider Relief Fund web page has been updated with the following notice:

The application deadline for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 General Distribution was Nov. 6, 2020. You must have submitted your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for validation by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2020 for Phase 3 relief funds. If you submitted your TIN for validation by the deadline and your TIN is validated by Nov. 13, you will be able to proceed with submitting your revenue documentation to complete your application by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 27, 2020.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has announced plans to allocate doses of the investigational monoclonal antibody therapeutics casirivimab and imdevimab for treatment of non-hospitalized patients with mild or moderate confirmed cases of COVID-19 at high risk of hospitalization; this is often referred to publicly as the Regeneron antibody cocktail. HHS will allocate 300,000 federally-purchased doses to state and territorial health departments that will determine which health care facilities receive the infusion drug.  Weekly allocations of the drug will be proportionally based on confirmed COVID-19 cases in each state and territory over the previous seven days based on data that hospitals and state health departments enter into the HHS Protect data collection platform.  Learn more from HHS’s announcement about the allocation plan.  Find additional information about allocation here.
  • HHS has published a Request for Information notice in which it seeks to “…gather information on effective innovative approaches and best practices in health care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by non-HHS health care systems and providers.” Comments are due by December 24.  Go here to see the brief notice.
  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has posted a paper on the designation of individual hospitals as COVID-19 hospitals within health systems or geographic areas.
  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has posted a report on crisis standards of care and patient surge management for COVID-19.
  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has posted a presentation with information on the use of point-of-care tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has posted the first episode in a series of short podcasts for frontline nursing home staff. The series, “CMS Beyond the Policy:  Nursing Home Series for Frontline Clinicians and Staff,” is designed to reinforce training and infection control practices in nursing homes to help combat the spread of COVID-19.  To listen to the podcast, go here.

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Labor

Coronavirus Update for Thursday, November 20

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 19.

Provider Relief Fund

The Provider Relief Fund web page has been updated with the following notice:

The application deadline for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 General Distribution was Nov. 6, 2020. You must have submitted your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for validation by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2020 for Phase 3 relief funds. If you submitted your TIN for validation by the deadline and your TIN is validated by Nov. 13, you will be able to proceed with submitting your revenue documentation to complete your application by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 27, 2020.

The Provider Relief Fund FAQ has been updated with three new questions and one modified question.

  • (pp. 15-16)  Will the Provider Relief Fund limit qualifying expenses for capital equipment purchases to 1.5 years of depreciation, or can providers fully expense capital equipment purchases?  (Added 11/18/2020)

Expenses for capital equipment and inventory may be fully expensed only in cases where the purchase was directly related to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.  Examples of these types of equipment and inventory expenses include ventilators, computerized tomography scanners, and other intensive care unit- (ICU) related equipment put into immediate use or held in inventory; masks, face shields, gloves, gowns; biohazard suits; general personal protective equipment; disinfectant supplies.

  • Can providers include the entire cost of capital facilities projects as eligible expenses, or will eligible expenses be limited to the depreciation expense for the period?  (Added 11/18/2020)

Expenses for capital facilities may be fully expensed only in cases where the purchase was directly related to preventing, preparing for and responding to the coronavirus. Examples of these types of facilities projects include upgrading a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to support negative pressure units; retrofitting a COVID-19 unit; enhancing or reconfiguring ICU capabilities; leasing or purchasing a temporary structure to screen and/or treat patients; leasing a permanent facility to increase hospital or nursing home capacity.

  • (p. 16)  Do providers report total purchase price of capital equipment or only the depreciated value?  (Modified 11/18/2020)

Providers who use accrual or cash basis accounting may report the relevant depreciation amount based on the equipment useful life, purchase price and depreciation methodology otherwise applied. Providers may report an expense for items purchased with a useful life of 12 months or less if in accordance with their existing accounting policies.  For additional information on capital depreciation, please refer to the other Frequently Asked Questions related to capital equipment and capital facility projects.

  • (pp. 24-25)  Providers may have significant fluctuations in year-over-year net patient revenues due to settlements or payments made to third parties relating to care delivered outside the reporting period (2019-2020). Should Provider Relief Fund recipients exclude from the reporting of net patient revenue payments received for care not provided in 2019 or 2020?  (Added 11/18/2020)

Provider Relief Fund recipients shall exclude from the reporting of net patient revenue payments received or payments made to third parties relating to care not provided in 2019 or 2020.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

 

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, November 17

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17.

Provider Relief Fund

The Provider Relief Fund web page has been updated with the following notice:

The application deadline for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 General Distribution was Nov. 6, 2020. You must have submitted your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for validation by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2020 for Phase 3 relief funds. If you submitted your TIN for validation by the deadline and your TIN is validated by Nov. 13, you will be able to proceed with submitting your revenue documentation to complete your application by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 27, 2020.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has posted information about high-flow nasal cannulation, an oxygen therapy that is a non-invasive resuscitation therapy for COVID-19 patients.  HHS has purchased kits to use when administering this therapy and health care facilities can work through their local and state health departments to secure a supply.  Go here to learn more about the therapy and how to acquire supplies.
  • HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response presents a speaker series focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect health care professional stress and resilience.  Topics in this series include acute and chronic stressors, identifying at-risk employees, and fostering resilience.  Go here for further information.
  • HHS has entered into partnerships with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains to improve access to eventual COVID-19 vaccines.  Participating pharmacies will counsel customers about vaccines and order and administer vaccines at no cost to those customers.  Learn more in this HHS announcement.

CMS COVID-19 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.

Nursing Homes

Wednesday, November 18 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM (eastern)

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

Access Passcode:  1335116

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has updated its guidance on investigational COVID-19 convalescent plasma.  The updated guidance extends the period of enforcement discretion through the end of February 2021.  This extension will permit continued access to convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients while blood establishments develop the necessary operating procedures to manufacture the plasma consistent with the emergency use authorization.  The guidance also includes a new recommendation that authorized COVID-19 convalescent plasma not be collected from individuals who have received an investigational COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The FDA has updated its FAQs on the development of COVID-19 tests.
  • The FDA has established a new webpage, A Closer Look at COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing, to provide health care providers and other public health professionals, including those who might purchase COVID-19 tests, with more technical information and resources.

 

NASH Seeks Help From End-of-Year Legislation

Eliminate Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts (Medicaid DSH), appropriate additional resources for the Provider Relief Fund, and extend the current suspension of the two percent sequestration of Medicare spending, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals asked members of Congress in a letter NASH sent yesterday.

The request comes as Congress returns to Washington to take up the funding of the federal government at a time when authorization for spending under a continuing resolution ends on December 11.  In addition to addressing federal funding, Congress also may consider COVID-19 legislation.

Learn more from NASH’s letter to Congress.

Coronavirus Update for Thursday, November 12

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, November 12.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS is hosting a on webinar Friday, November 13 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern) to present updated guidance for hospital data reporting requirements. Go here to register.  Also available are a slide deck that will be presented by the subject matter experts during the webinar and a Q&A document with questions that were not addressed during previous webinars.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has released its preparedness audit findings for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which found that the ORR ensured that selected care providers were prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, November 10

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10.

Food and Drug Administration

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has announced plans to allocate initial doses of the investigational monoclonal antibody therapeutic bamlanivimab. Beginning immediately, weekly allocations to state and territorial health departments will be proportionally based on confirmed COVID-19 cases in each state and territory over the previous seven days based on data hospitals and state health departments enter into the HHS Protect data collection platform.  States will then decide on its distribution, with possible locations including hospital outpatient facilities, hospital emergency departments, and alternate care sites set up by hospitals and health departments.  These government-purchased doses will be available at no cost to patients, although health care facilities could charge for administering the medicine.  Learn more about the allocation and distribution processes here and find the week one allocation dashboard here.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS COVID-19 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.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, November 17 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820

Access Passcode:  2491556

Audio Webcast link:  go here

 

Wednesday, November 18 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM (eastern)

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

Access Passcode:  1335116

Audio Webcast link:  go here

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institutes of Health

Department of Labor

 

Coronavirus Update for Thursday, November 5

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 5.

Provider Relief Fund

  • A reminder that applications for Phase 3 general distribution payments are due Friday, November 6.
  • HHS has updated the Provider Relief Fund FAQ with two modified items; the second bullet below addresses the deadline for Phase 3 applications.
    • p. 6 – Does HHS intend to recoup any payments made to providers not tied to specific claims for reimbursement, such as the General or Targeted Distribution payments? ( Modified 11/5/2020)

The Provider Relief Fund and the Terms and Conditions require that recipients be able to demonstrate that lost revenues and increased expenses attributable to COVID-19, excluding expenses and losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse, exceed total payments from the Relief Fund. Provider Relief Fund payment amounts that have not been fully expended on the combination of healthcare expenses and lost revenues attributable to coronavirus by the end of the final reporting period, must be returned to HHS. HHS reserves the right to audit Relief Fund recipients in the future to ensure that this requirement is met and collect any Relief Fund amounts that were made in error or exceed lost revenue or increased expenses due to COVID-19. Failure to comply with the Terms and Conditions may be grounds for recoupment.

  • p. 41 – Tax Identification Number (TIN) Validation Process

When is the deadline to submit an application? (Modified 11/5/2020)

The deadline to submit an application under Phase 3 – General Distribution is November 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST for those that have had their TIN validated in Phase 2 or received funds as part of Phase 1. Any entity that has not yet received any General Distribution payments must submit their TIN for validation by November 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. If the TIN is validated by November 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST, the entity will have until November 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST to submit an application.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has posted FAQs about the information-blocking provisions of the regulation it published last week extending until April of 2021 the agency’s deadline for complying with its information-blocking requirements.  Find those FAQs here.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS’s online publication MLN Connects directs providers and others to its COVID-19 vaccine toolkit for information about preparing to administer such vaccines when they become available.
  • CMS has updated its provider-specific fact sheets on new COVID-19-related waivers and flexibilities for the following providers:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Congressional Research Service

 

Coronavirus Update for Tuesday, November 3

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.

Provider Relief Fund

Question:

“At the bottom of page 1 of the reporting requirements announcement in PDF, Step 2 states “PRF payment amounts not fully expended on healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus are then applied to patient care lost revenues, net of the healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus calculated under step 1.” Is the underlined language still applicable under the reporting requirements notice that HHS posted on October 22, 2020?”  (Added 11/2/2020)

Answer:

“No, healthcare related expenses are no longer netted against the patient care lost revenue amount in Step 2. A revised notice will be posted to remove this language.”

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has launched a new online platform, the Nursing Home Resource Center, to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance, and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents, and their families as the fight against COVID-19 continues.  Go here to see CMS’s announcement about the new resource and find the new Nursing Home Resource Center here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institutes of Health

Department of Labor

Federal Reserve

  • The Federal Reserve Board has changed the terms of its Main Street Lending Program by reducing the minimum loan for three Main Street facilities available to for-profit and non-profit borrowers from $250,000 to $100,000 and reducing fees to encourage the provision of these smaller loans.  It also issued a new FAQ clarifying that Paycheck Protection Program loans of up to $2 million may be excluded for purposes of determining the maximum loan size under the Main Street Lending Program if certain requirements are met.  See the Federal Reserve’s announcement of these changes and find links to resources involving the Main Street Lending Program here.

Coronavirus Update for Friday, October 30

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Friday, October 30.

Provider Relief Fund

  • A reminder that applications for Phase 3 general distribution payments are due November 6.
  • Another reminder that HHS will hold a webcast about the Phase 3 general distribution on Monday, November 2 at 3:00 p.m. (eastern) for interested parties.  Go here to register for the webcast and to submit questions.  Also available are a fact sheet and a presentation about the Phase 3 general distribution.
  • HHS has added or modified 61 questions in its Provider Relief Fund FAQ.  The changes, labeled either “Added 10/28/2020” or “Modified 10/28/2020,” generally address auditing and reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Fund, including accounting for expenses and lost revenue, as well as the sharing of general distribution money among parent and subsidiary entities, executive salary cap calculations, and more.  The modified and added questions and answers offer additional details about many issues so providers should review these changes carefully.  The following excerpts address some specific matters about which providers have inquired:
    • ” Healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus may include items such as supplies, equipment, information technology, facilities, employees, and other healthcare related costs/expenses for the calendar year. The classification of items into categories should align with how Provider Relief Fund recipients maintain their records.” [emphasis added]
    • “… providers that already have a cost allocation methodology in place, may allocate normal and reasonable overhead costs to their subsidiaries which may be an eligible expense if attributable to coronavirus and not reimbursed from other sources.”
    • “HHS initially advised providers that once a subsidiary TIN attested to and accepted a General Distribution payment, the money must stay with, and be used by, the subsidiary TIN. However, HHS has received feedback indicating that some subsidiary TINs accepted a General Distribution payment prior to the release of this guidance, and that they would have had their parent TIN accept the money, had they known earlier of HHS’s position. In light of these timing concerns, HHS is revising its prior guidance and clarifying that, for General Distribution payments only, a subsidiary TIN can transfer its General Distribution payment to a parent TIN; this is true even if a subsidiary TIN initially attested to accepting a General Distribution payment. Consistent with other longstanding guidance, the parent TIN may use the money and/or allocate the money to other subsidiary TINs, as it deems appropriate. Regardless of which entity (the parent or subsidiary) attested to the receipt of the General Distribution payments, the parent entity can report on the use of the General Distribution payment as part of the HHS reporting process.”
    • “In accordance with the Terms and Conditions, if you believe you have received an overpayment and expect that you will have cumulative lost revenues and increased costs that are attributable to coronavirus during the COVID-19 public health emergency that exceed the intended calculated payment, then you may keep the payment.”
    • “Providers do not need to be able to prove, at the time they accept a Provider Relief Fund payment that prior and/or future lost revenues and increased expenses attributable to COVID-19 (excluding those covered by other sources of reimbursement) meet or exceed their Provider Relief Fund payment. Instead, HHS expects that providers will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes and if on June 30, 2021, providers have leftover Provider Relief Fund money that they cannot expend on permissible expenses or losses, then they will return this money to HHS.”
    • “The Terms and Conditions associated with each Provider Relief Fund payment do not permit recipients to use Provider Relief Fund money to pay salaries at a rate in excess of Executive Level II which is currently set at $197,300. For the purposes of the salary limitation, the direct salary is exclusive of fringe benefits and indirect costs. The limitation only applies to the rate of pay charged to Provider Relief Fund payments and other HHS awards. An organization receiving Provider Relief Fund payments may pay an individual’s salary amount in excess of the salary cap with non-federal funds” An example aggregate calculation is provided.
    • Again, we strongly encourage providers to review all of the 10/28 additions and modifications of the Provider Relief Fund FAQ.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has published an interim final rule that calls for several regulatory changes driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All Medicare beneficiaries, including Medicare Advantage participants, will pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines, as will most Medicaid beneficiaries.  Most private insurers are required to cover the vaccines as well.  Vaccines for the uninsured will be reimbursed in the same manner as care for the uninsured that is reimbursed through the Provider Relief Fund.
  • Medicare will make enhanced payments for eligible inpatient cases that involve use of certain new products authorized or approved to treat COVID-19.  The enhanced payments will be equal to the lesser of:  (1) 65 percent of the operating outlier threshold for the claim; or (2) 65 percent of the cost of a COVID-19 stay beyond the operating Medicare payment (including the 20 percent add-on payment under section 3710 of the CARES Act) for eligible cases.
  • States will retain their ability to gain an additional, temporary 6.2 percentage point increase in their federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP, the rate at which the federal government matches state Medicaid spending) if they agree to maintain the enrollment of “validly enrolled beneficiaries” through the end of the month in which the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.  States are permitted to make changes in beneficiary coverage, cost-sharing, and post-eligibility treatment of income.
  • This rule expands on previous CARES Act requirements that providers of COVID-19 tests publicize the cash prices for such tests, requiring that every provider of COVID-19 diagnostic tests make public on the internet the cash price for a COVID-19 diagnostic test.
  • This rule extends the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Program’s Performance Year 5 an additional six months, to September 30, 2021, changes the reconciliation periods for the program, and makes other changes in the program.
  • CMS has published its annual update of home health payment rates for calendar year 2021.  Included in this rule is a provision that makes permanent changes in home health regulations introduced as temporary in the March 2020 “Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency” Interim Final Rule with Comment.  Under this provision, the temporary ability of home health agencies to use telehealth in the provision of home health care to qualified Medicare beneficiaries is now made permanent.  Learn more about this important change and other aspects of the 2021 home health regulation in this CMS news release.
  • CMS has updated its document “COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing.”  Updated information on pages 120 and 121 addresses temporary COVID-19 waivers that enable hospitals to provide certain outpatient services in alternative care settings.  Both updates are labeled “New: 10/28/20.”

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS announced that it will distribute $333 million in first round performance payments to more than 10,000 nursing homes for achieving significant reductions in COVID-19-related infections and deaths between August and September.  Nursing homes will receive September quality incentive payments next week and will have four more opportunities to receive additional incentive payments.  Go here to see CMS’s announcement about the awards and go here to see a state-by-state breakdown of those awards.
  • HHS’s Administration for Community Living hosts a monthly webinar series that invites subject matter experts and practitioners from across the home-and-community-based services (HCBS) spectrum to share insights and best practices to develop high-quality HCBS services and programs.  The next webinar will be held on November 12 at 3:00 (eastern) and feature payer and provider industry leaders discussing changes their industries have experienced since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency and what lies ahead for them.  Several payers and providers will share innovations they used to address COVID.  Go here for more information and to register for the webinar.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Congressional Research Service

Coronavirus Update for Monday, October 26

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:45 p.m. on Monday, October 26.

Provider Relief Fund:  Webcast on Phase 3 General Distribution

  • Applications for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 general distribution are now being accepted by HHS.  HHS will hold a webcast on Monday, November 2 at 3:00 p.m. (eastern) for interested parties.  Go here to register for the webcast and to submit questions.  NASH recommends that providers considering applying for Phase 3 general distribution funds that did not view the previous webcast participate in this one in anticipation of the November 6 application deadline.  Also available are a fact sheet and a presentation about the Phase 3 general distribution.

Provider Relief Fund:  Financial Reporting

Last week we reported on HHS’s updating of its most recent Provider Relief Fund financial reporting instructions that broadened how fund recipients may use those funds.  That report was accompanied by an HHS policy memorandum and amended reporting requirements.  For providers interested in how HHS is defining parent entities in this update, the amended reporting requirements document includes the following explanation:

Reporting Entity: Entity (at the Tax Identification Number (TIN) level) that received one or more PRF [Provider Relief Fund] payments, or an entity that meets the following three criteria: 1) is the parent of one or more subsidiary billing TINs that received General Distribution payments, 2) has providers associated with it that were providing diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19 on or after January 31, 2020, and 3) is an entity that can otherwise attest to the Terms and Conditions. If the entity has subsidiary TINs that received General Distribution payments, regardless of whether the subsidiary or Reporting Entity formally attested to accepting the payment within the provider portal, the Reporting Entity may report on and direct the use of General Distribution payments. However, if a subsidiary TIN received a Targeted Distribution payment, 1 the subsidiary TIN must report use of funds for that payment, and the parent organization that reports on a subsidiary’s General Distribution payment cannot also report on (or transfer) the subsidiary’s Targeted Distribution payment.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Four weeks after HHS announced that it would distribute 150 million state-of-the-art Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests nationally to assist with states’ reopening efforts, states have begun to report back to HHS about how they are choosing to distribute the rapid, point-of-care tests.  Of the states that have provided preliminary reports, the BinaxNOW allocations are largely being sent to local health departments, K-12 schools and institutes of higher education, nursing homes, hospitals, and correctional facilities.  Learn more from this HHS announcement about the status of the distribution and states’ responses to it.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has updated its work plan for COVID-19-related audits, evaluations, and inspections.

CMS COVID-19 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.  Two such calls remain this month.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, October 27 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  2394789

Audio Webcast link:  go here to register for the call

Nursing Homes Call

Wednesday, October 28 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  5587022
Audio Webcast Link:  go here to register for the call

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

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds).
  • The FDA has consolidated its existing resources for stakeholders to easily find information about drug and biologics development and manufacturing, including for products to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent COVID-19 and for other critically needed products to treat symptoms of COVID-19 or to provide supportive care to those with COVID-19.  Go here to find the consolidated guide to these resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention