Coronavirus update for Thursday, June 4 as of 2:30 p.m.
Today NASH sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing safety-net hospitals’ disappointment that HHS still has not made a targeted distribution of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds to providers of especially high volumes of care to Medicaid and government-insured patients and urging them to do so as soon as possible. See NASH’s letter here.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has published a compendium of Medicare physician fee schedule changes implemented in recent months in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- CMS has posted a table that describes COVID-19 adjustments announced yesterday for CMMI model programs.
- CMS announced that the Nursing Home Compare web site now provides data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in individual nursing homes. Accompanying this announcement is publication of an FAQ on this nursing home data and a memo to state Medicaid programs about the data.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS has updated its CARES Act’s Provider Relief Fund FAQ with additions on pages 3, 20, and 21. Hospitals should review these changes carefully.
- HHS announced new lab data reporting guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported to HHS by laboratories along with COVID-19 test results. This guidance standardizes reporting. See HHS’s announcement, the guidance itself, and an FAQ for the guidance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its web page on COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minorities.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has introduced a new web-based resource, Testing Supply Substitution Strategies, that includes detailed information to help support labs performing authorized COVID-19 tests.
- The FDA has updated the question-and-answer appendix in its guidance Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency with new information about compliance for electronic systems used to generate electronic signatures on clinical trial records.
- The FDA has issued an alert to providers about the temporary absence of the “paralyzing agent” warning statement on the vial caps of the neuromuscular blocking agents vecuronium bromide and rocuronium bromide, both of which are often used for patients requiring medical ventilation.
- The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for five new commercial diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Find them here, here, here, here, and here.