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Health Policy Update for Thursday, April 8

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 8.

Provider Relief Fund

  • The Provider Relief Fund web page has been updated to announce a webinar next Tuesday, April 13 about the HRSA COVID-19 uninsured program under which participating providers are reimbursed at Medicare rates for testing, treating, and administering COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals.  Go here for further information (in the shaded box labeled “update”).

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

COVID-19

  • CMS has added 24 new audiology and speech language pathology services to its list of telehealth services covered during the COVID-19 emergency.  Go here to find the updated list of telehealth services authorized during the pandemic.

Proposed Rules

  • CMS has published its proposed FY 2022 skilled nursing facility prospective payment system rule.  Learn more about the proposed rule from this CMS fact sheet and from the proposed rule itself.
  • CMS has published its proposed FY 2022 hospice wage index and payment update, hospice conditions of participation updates, and hospice and home health quality reporting program requirements.  Learn more the CMS fact sheet from this Federal Register notice.

Health Policy News

  • CMS will hold a webinar titled “Building Capacity in the Direct Service Workforce:  Moving Forward from the Summit” on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.  The purpose of the webinar is to advance learning and recommendations from the “Quality Jobs Equal Quality Care: Building Capacity in the Direct Care Workforce” event that was held at Advancing States’ HCBS Conference on December 3, 2020.  The webinar will highlight capacity-building strategies shared by states during the HCBS conference, is open to the public, and will focus on strategies for state Medicaid agencies, state agency partners, managed care plans, and home and community based services providers.  Go here for more information and here to register.

Department of Health and Human Services

Federal Funding Opportunity

  • HHS’s Administration for Community Living has published a notice about a funding opportunity.  The notice is titled “Aging and Disability Resource Center/No Wrong Door System COVID–19 Vaccine Access Supplemental Funding” and it states that “This funding opportunity is to support a new effort to get the nation’s most vulnerable and at-risk seniors and people with disabilities vaccinated.”  The notice was published today (April 8) and applications are due at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 9.  The notice also states that “Eligible Applicants for this award are existing ADRC/NWD COVID–19 CARES Act grantees that received funding on April 1, 2020.”  Learn more from the Federal Register notice.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19

Health Policy News

  • The CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that federal funding may now be used to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips in an effort to help curb the dramatic spike in drug overdose deaths largely driven by the use of strong synthetic opioids, including illicitly manufactured fentanyl.  Learn more about the new policy and the federal grantees to which it applies in this CDC news release.

Congressional Research Service

  • The Congressional Research Service has published a new report titled “State and Federal Authority to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination.”  Find it here.

Health Policy Update for Monday, April 5

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 5.

The White House

COVID-19

Provider Relief Fund

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? (Added 2/24/2021)

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.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19

Food and Drug Administration

COVID-19

National Institutes of Health

Health Policy Update for Thursday, April 1

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1.

Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments Program

The White House

COVID-19

Health Policy News

  • The Biden administration has unveiled its proposed “American Jobs Plan.”  A portion of that plan addresses health care provided in the home.  Learn more from the administration’s fact sheet on the plan and the section in it titled “Solidify the Infrastructure of our Care Economy by Creating Jobs and Raising Wages and Benefits for Essential Home Care Workers.”

Provider Relief Fund

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

COVID-19

Health Policy News

  • CMS has posted the latest edition of its online publication MLN Connects, which features information about Medicare policy and reimbursement matters.  The following is its table of contents (with links):

News

Compliance

Claims, Pricers, & Codes

Events

MLN Matters® Articles

Multimedia

Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19

Health Policy News

  • HHS has posted a presentation from a webinar on lessons learned from recent cybersecurity incidents involving health care providers.  Go here to find the presentation and go here to view the webinar.
  • HHS announced that additional savings and lower health care costs are available for consumers on HealthCare.gov through increased tax credits for health insurance made available through the American Rescue Plan.  See the announcement here and find a link to additional information about newly reduced health insurance premiums here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19

Food and Drug Administration

COVID-19

  • The FDA has approved an abbreviated new drug application for succinylcholine chloride injection USP 200 mg/10 mL, 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.  See the FDA’s notice of this approval here.

Federal Communications Commission – Grants

  • The FCC has launched round two of its COVID-19 telehealth program, which was established by the CARES Act “to support efforts of health care providers to address coronavirus by providing telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services” during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Round two is funded with $250 million from the American Rescue Plan.  Some aspects of the program have changed.  The application window, which should be announced soon, will be brief.  Learn more from this FCC notice.

Government Accountability Office

COVID-19

NASH Asks HHS for Provider Relief Fund Grants

Phase 3 distributions of Provider Relief Fund grants are long overdue and sorely needed by private safety-net hospitals, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals has declared in a letter to new Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

NASH’s letter to Becerra notes that the COVID-19 emergency has posed a special challenge to private safety-net hospitals and that in too many cases, those safety-net hospitals have not received appropriate support from the CARES Act’s Provider Relief Fund.  In its letter, NASH asks Secretary Becerra to direct HHS staff to distribute the more than $20 billion remaining in the Provider Relief Fund as soon as possible and to make safety-net hospitals a priority in that distribution.

Learn more from NASH’s letter to Secretary Becerra.

Federal Health Policy Update for Wednesday, March 24

Beginning today, NASH is expanding its regular updates to encompass a broader scope of federal health policy endeavors to include other matters of importance to providers.  Feel free to share this newsletter with others in your organization or to send us the email addresses of those you think might be interested and we will send it directly to them.

The following is the latest such information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24.

Congress

The temporary delay of implementation of the Medicare two percent sequester expires at the end of the month and amid considerable advocacy by the health care community, Congress is considering extending this delay.  Last week the House passed a bill that would extend the current moratorium through December 31, 2021 and would waive “PAYGO” rules that apply to the American Rescue Plan Act that would necessitate an additional two percent sequester on Medicare payments starting in January, which would be added to the existing sequester to result in a four percent sequester. The Senate will not take up the House bill but could take up S. 748, which would extend the current moratorium for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Even if it does take up S. 748 this week the House is unlikely to address it immediately because both chambers will recess after Friday until April 9.  It is possible CMS may hold claims for a short period after March 31 if it appears Congress will act on this matter without much delay.

Provider Relief Fund

New Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements – PDF* were issued on January 15, 2021 in accordance with the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.  In response to stakeholder feedback, HHS is currently reviewing this guidance and Provider Relief Fund reporting timelines.  We will post any updates on this website as soon as they are available.  We continue to encourage recipients of $10,000 or more in aggregate Provider Relief Fund payments to register in the Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal.

White House

COVID-19

  • The White House has posted transcripts of the March 19, March 22, and March 24 press briefings provided by its COVID-19 response team and public health officials.

Department of Health and Human Services

Health Policy News

  • The Biden administration has nominated the following individuals to positions in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Office of the Secretary
Kristina Schake, Counselor to the Secretary for Strategic Communications

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Israel Igualate, Deputy Speechwriter

Office of the General Counsel
Barbara McGarey, Deputy General Counsel

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Rebecca Haffajee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Miranda Lynch, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (Human Services Policy)

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Jonathan Warsh, Senior Policy Advisor COVID Response
Leni Hirsch, Special Assistant COVID Response

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration
Cheryl Campbell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration

Office of Global Affairs
Stephanie Psaki, Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Gender Equity

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Trina Dutta, Senior Advisor

See this HHS news release for further information.

  • HHS announced that it is extending access to the special enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace until August 15.  The purpose of this extension is to give consumers additional time to take advantage of new savings made available through the American Rescue Plan and give new and current enrollees an additional three months to enroll or re-evaluate their coverage needs with increased tax credits available to reduce premiums.  Learn more from this HHS announcement.HH  Find additional information in this accompanying HHS fact sheet.
  • HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has published the report “Hospitals Reported that the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Significantly Strained Health Care Delivery.”  HHS describes the report as “…a national snapshot, from the perspective of front-line hospital administrators, on how responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their capacity to care for patients, staff, and communities.  This is not a review of the HHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

COVID-19

National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call

On Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00pm (eastern), CMS will address questions about its updated nursing home visitation guidance.  In addition, participants will hear from a nursing home administrator currently implementing the new guidance.   Register for this Zoom call here.  Resources for the call are:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19

Food and Drug Administration – COVID-19

COVID-19

  • The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the first machine learning-based COVID-19 non-diagnostic screening device that identifies certain biomarkers that are indicative of some types of conditions, such as hypercoagulation.  The device is worn as an arm band and uses artificial intelligence.  See the FDA’s announcement and its emergency use authorization letter.

National Institutes of Health

COVID-19

  • In a news release, the NIH announced that “Results from a large clinical trial in the United States and South America indicate that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, is well-tolerated and protects against symptomatic COVID-19 disease, including severe disease or hospitalization. The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) overseeing the trial identified no safety concerns related to the vaccine.”
  • Later the same day, the NIH’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) announced that it has notified NIAID (the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), BARDA (the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), and AstraZeneca that “it was concerned by information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.  The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”

 

Coronavirus Update for Friday, March 19

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

White House

Provider Relief Fund

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS announced that it will spend $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to increase COVID-19 screening and testing to help schools reopen, increase testing in underserved populations, and provide new guidance on asymptomatic screening testing in schools, workplaces, and congregate settings.  Learn more from this HHS news release.  The CDC will administer $2.25 billion of this sum to increase testing in underserved populations; learn more about its plans in this CDC news release.
  • HHS announced that it will spend $150 million to increase access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments for patients in vulnerable communities across the country.  Assistance may include additional staffing, improved infusion center capacity in traditional and non-traditional health care settings, and equipment to administer intravenous infusion treatments. The effort also will seek to improve awareness among health care providers and patients about the treatment options available, including where and how to obtain them.  Learn more from this HHS announcement.

HHS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food and Drug Administration

Government Accountability Office

  • The GAO has published a new report, “COVID-19 in Nursing Homes,” in which it notes that HHS has taken steps in response to the pandemic but that several GAO recommendations have not been implemented.  See the report’s highlight and the entire report itself.

NASH Stresses Three Needs From COVID Relief Bill

Extension of the current moratorium on Medicare sequestration.

Additional resources for the Provider Relief Fund.

Another delay in hospital repayment of funds they received from the federal government through the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments Program.

These are the three greatest needs of NASH members and private safety-net hospitals that NASH communicated to members of Congress on Thursday afternoon as the Senate begins consideration of the COVID-19 relief bill.

Learn more from NASH’s message to members of Congress.

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 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 Wednesday, January 13

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13.

Provider Relief Fund

  • HHS has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ with nine new or modified questions on pages 12-13, 13, 15 (three questions), 40-41, 41, and 56.  The new and modified questions address
    • how changes of ownership affect providers’ ability to receive Provider Relief Fund grants and nursing home quality incentive payments;
    • answer questions about audit deadlines and extensions;
    • and describe the methodology for calculating Phase 3 distributions and the timing and size of those distributions.

Providers that have received past distributions and that believe they are eligible for Phase 3 distributions should review the updated FAQ carefully.

Department of Defense

  • The Department of Defense, which is playing a leading role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, has posted a brief document titled “Officials Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries and Prioritization Criteria.”  The document outlines the status of vaccine distribution efforts to date, offers data on the number of vaccines that have been distributed and administered, and notes the expansion of vaccine administration to individuals beyond those considered to be the highest priority for receiving vaccines.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Tuesday, February 2  at 5:00 – 6:00 PM (eastern)

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820; Access Passcode:  4956655

Audio Webcast link:  go here

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention