APDA COVID-19 Information, Updates and Resources

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CMS News  CDC News   COVID-19 CMS Podcasts  HHS News  Cares Act Provider Relief Fund Updates

September 8, 2020 Guidance on New testing mandate for NHs. CMS has indicated they will post an updated file on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. AHCA/NASL has posted resources for NHs: AHCA Summary of CMS' Testing Requirements, AHCA Guidance on How to Get Started with Testing ?   Testing frequency (1, 2, 3 x per week) will be determined by positivity rates for respective counties. 
August 27, 2020 Trump Administration Announces the Distribution of $2.5 Billion to Nursing Homes for COVID-19 Relief Funding.This funding allocation was made through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a targeted distribution from the $175 billion Provider Relief program funded through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. 

August 26, 2020 New testing requirements for NH-includes under arrangement service providers. 
 This (interim final) rule establishes Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Testing Requirements for Staff and Residents. Specifically, facilities are required to test residents and staff, including individuals providing services under arrangement and volunteers, for COVID.

August 25, 2020 Trump Administration to Release 1.5 Million N95 Respirators from the Strategic National Stockpile for Distribution to Nursing Homes. Beginning Aug. 28, 2020, the Defense Logistics Agency will direct shipments of N95 respirators to select nursing homes that recently reported having enough supplies for only zero to three days of operations. These respirators are meant to supplement existing supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and will provide a seven-day supply for each nursing home to support an entire shift before discarding used products. 

August 25, 2020 CMS implements national nursing home Covid 19 training for staff and management to include webinars. 
The training announced today will be available immediately to staff of America's 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes and focuses on critical topics like infection control and prevention, appropriate screening of visitors, effective cohorting of residents, safe admission and transfer of residents, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – all critical elements of stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

August 20, 2020 New Covid 19 Relief proposal 
includes provider liability protection

August 19, 2020 Federal Government to release N95 masks to Nursing Homes and other healthcare providers.
 The federal government will soon open up its strategic stockpile of N95 respirators to nursing homes and other health care providers, according to a report, but at least a portion of the distribution will be made through the open marketplace

August, 13, 2020 NY state takes action to protect patients from ppe fees.
Healthcare providers should not be charging patients for ppe and patients are not liable for fees that go beyond their financial responsibility in the insurance policies or contracts. Providers should be alert to this action occuring in more states.

August 10, 2020 CDC
updates return to work criteria for healthcare professionals

August 10, 2020 HHS Announces Certain providers can now reapply for Phase 2 General Relief fund by August 28, 2020

August 7, 2020 HHS Announces Allocations of CAREs Act provider relief fund for Nursing Homes. Consistent with the Administration's announcement in late July, the PRF distribution will total approximately $5 billion, and will be used to protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities from the impact of COVID-19.

August 6, 2020
 Due to Covid 19, CMS has extended deadline for use of the new ABN form to January 1, 2021

August 5, 2020 CMS final rule FY 2021 SNF PPS payment policies, physician and NPP flexibilities and more

July 31, 2020 HHS to reopen portal for certain Medicare providers Starting the week of August 10, HHS will allow Medicare providers who missed the opportunity to apply for additional funding from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 Medicare General Distribution.

July 29, 2020 HHS implements new rules for out of network providers as of 1/1/2021. HHS secretary's report calls for congressional action to stop surprise billing.....Patients receiving scheduled care should have information about whether providers are in or out of their network and what costs they may face....Patients should not receive surprise bills from out-of-network providers they did not choose

July 28, 2020 Businesses want liability protection in next stimulus bill 
Advocates of the liability protections believe these safeguards will enable businesses to operate without the risk of an employee or customer claiming they contracted COVID-19 on the premises and taking legal action. 

July 22, 2020 
Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19
- rapid testing, hiring staff, enhancing infection control policies, and providing additional services, such as technology so residents can connect with their families if they are not able to visit. CMS will begin requiring, rather than recommending, that all nursing homes in states with a 5% positivity rate or greater test all nursing home staff each week. The administration deployed a Task Force Strike Team to nursing homes based on data indicating an increase in Covid cases.

July 21, 2020 HHS annouces implementation of a national Covid 19 testing forum  The National Testing Implementation Forum will bring together representatives from key stakeholder groups to share information and provide input to federal leaders about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, testing and diagnostics

July 20, 2020 More about Contact Tracing - 3 steps to take while waiting for test results, overview of contact tracing and more

July 16, 2020 ?Confused about Covid 19 symptoms - not sure if you have Covid or if your employee has symptoms - here is a Self Checker - tool
from the CDC - very helpful!

July 14, 2020 Trump Administration announces initiative for more and faster Covid 19 testing in Nursing HomesHHS is announcing a large-scale procurement of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -authorized rapid point-of-care diagnostic test instruments and tests to be distributed to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspot geographic areas with the United States. 

July 7, 2020
HHS announces FREE Covid 19 testing in 'Surge states"
Today (HHS) is announcing free COVID-19 testing in Jacksonville, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Edinburg, Texas. Surge testing efforts will temporarily increase federal support to communities where there has been a recent and intense level of new cases and hospitalizations related to the ongoing outbreak.

June 30, 2020 CDC works to provide healthcare systems with a framework to deliver non Covid-19 health care during the pandemic. 

June 30, 2020 HHS extends Covid 19 testing public-private partnership. "HHS will extend its partnership with national pharmacy and grocery retail chains CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Quest (through services at Walmart) and eTrueNorth (through services at Kroger, Health Mart, and Walmart) so they may continue to seamlessly provide Americans convenient access to COVID-19 testing"

June 25, 2020 CDC has expanded its list of people who are at severe risk of Covid 19 and has updated its list of underlying medical conditions that would increase risk of severe illness

June 22, 2020 Today CMS is taking a deeper look into Value based vs fee for service....."Now more than ever, it is clear that our fee-for-service system is insufficient for the most vulnerable Americans because it limits payment to what goes on inside a doctor's office. The transition to a value-based system has never been so urgent." ?portable diagnostics-a service that goes beyond the doctors office

June 19, 2020 MLN further explains use of CR modifier & non covered tests as of July 6, 2020...” Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will cover diagnostic COVID-19 lab tests and non-cover tests not considered diagnostic.Tests that are considered non-diagnostic are not covered. 

June 13, 2020 CDC releases consolidated Covid 19 testing recommendations: Testing practices should aim for rapid turnaround times (e.g., less than 48 hours) in order to facilitate effective interventions. Antibody (serologic) test results should generally not be used as the sole basis to diagnose an active SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be used to inform IPC action. Testing a person more than once in a 24 hour period is not reccomended. Testing practices for HCP include screeningfor covid symptoms and temp. checks at start of shift. Providers should check with local and state health departments for information on frequency of testing following an initial covid-19 test, contact tracing and testing strategies

June 9, 2020  (CMS) Recommendations Re-opening Facilities to Provide Non-emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare  This document refers only to areas in Phase II: States and regions with no evidence of a rebound that satisfy the Gating Criteria. Read about recommendations for PPE, sanitation protocols, staff screening, testing, reporting, establishment of NCC (non covid care zones) and more.  

June 5, 2020 
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act now passed. See link for details. 

June 4, 2020 Nursing Home Covid 19 data inspection results are now available on Nursing Home Compare

June 2, 2020 HHS provides additional $250M to help US healthcare systems respond to Covid 19. Per HHS, "The funds will support hospitals and other health care entities to train workforces, expand telemedicine and the use of virtual healthcare, procure supplies and equipment, and coordinate effectively across regional, state and jurisdictional, and local health care facilities to respond to COVID-19."

June 1, 2020 Enhanced enforcement actions for Nursing Homes announced. Increased reporting requirements, increased and more stringent inspections-on-site surveys (within three to five days of identification) of any nursing home with new COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases.

May 29, 2020 Payroll Protection Program Update
....... The House has passed a bill (now waiting for Senate approval) called the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. It makes changes to the PPP that includes extending the period for using loans to 24 week. It also would let borrowers spend just 60% rather than 75% of their loan proceeds on paying workers and still be eligible for loan forgiveness. 

May 24, 2020 Updated Cares Act Provider Relief Fund FAQs - Balance billing, Publication of provider payment data, appeals, reporting requirements and more

May 22, 2020 Preparing for widespread testing  See this link- As prepared by AHCA/NSAL, this document contains guidance for providers on testing staff and residents. Who gets tested, How to access tests, Reimbursement for tests and more.

May 20, 2020 Reminder-Providers must act by June 3, 2020 to receive additional relief fund general distribution payment.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reminding eligible providers that they have until June 3, 2020, to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit their revenue information to support receiving an additional payment from the Provider Relief Fund $50 billion General Distribution.

May 19, 2020 Could your company be eligible for the employee retention credit? The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

May 18, 2020 CMS announces Nursing Home reopening recommendations for state and local officials
See FAQ on reopening and required Nursing Home testing of staff and vendors

May 15, 2020 Important updates to PPP - loan under $2M eligible for forgiveness
See this link - Question #46 for more information:

May 13, 2020 Updated Nursing Home Toolkit -outlining actions by state

May 12, 2020 Update to Blanket Waivers -
additional waivers, price transparency, letter to nursing homes, FAQs

May 11, 2020 Medicre Pharmacies and other suppliers may temporarily enroll as Independent Clinical Laboratories to help address Covid-19 testing 
Pharmacies and other suppliers currently enrolled in Medicare may also enroll temporarily as independent clinical diagnostic laboratories during the COVID-19 public health emergency via the provider enrollment hotline. 

May 7, 2020 HHS extends period to attest to the terms and conditions of the Provider Relief Funds to 45 days. 

May 6, 2020 CMS Updates Nursing Home reporting requirements
 to CDC, Families, Residents and Staff (portable providers are considered staff), enhanced enforcement with penalties, updated Covid focused survey tools, and new deficiency tags. 
CDC will begin posting data from the National Healthcare Safety Network for viewing by facilities, stakeholders, or the general public. The Covid-19 public use file will be available at

May 6, 2020 
Provider level data for the HHS Provider Relief Fund general distribution is available online here: 

May 5, 2020 OCR Issues Guidance on Covered Health Care Providers
and Restrictions on Media Access to Protected Health Information about Individuals in Their Facilities

May 5, 2020 Return to work criteria for Healthcare Personnel with confirmed or suspected Covid-19- updated

May 1, 2020 CMS issues update to Blanket Waivers
CMS issues Blanket Waivers of Sanctions under the physician self referral law - 

On March 30, 2020, CMS issued blanket waivers of sanctions under the physician self-referral law for COVID-19 Purposes. These blanket waivers provide vital flexibility for physicians and providers in the fight against COVID-19.  The waivers are effective March 1, 2020 and may be used without notifying CMS.  View the Blanket Waivers of Section 1877(g) (PDF)

April 30, 2020 Trump Administration Issues Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020 List of all States modifying licensure requirements due to Covid-19 waivers - out of state physicians, license renewals, CME requirements

April 27, 2020 Sign up period begins today for Covid-19 claims reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for testing and treatment of uninsured. As part of the FFCRA and CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide claims reimbursement to health care providers generally at Medicare rates for testing uninsured individuals for COVID-19 and treating uninsured individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis. See Terms and Conditions

April 27, 2020 Paycheck Protection Program resumes April 27, 2020 10:30 am EDT

April 26, 2020
CMS Reevaluates Accelerated Payment Program and suspends Advance Payment Program

April 24, 2020 Cares Act $50B Provider Relief Fund General Distribution Portal now open 
Providers who have already received payments from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund must attest to each payment associated with their billing Taxpayer Identification Number(s). In addition, providers who have already received payments will need to upload their most recent IRS tax filings as well as estimates of lost revenues for March and April 2020.Providers who receive funds from the general distribution have to sign an attestation confirming receipt of funds and agree to the terms and conditions of payment and confirm the CMS cost report.
Click here to sign the attestation and accept the Terms and Conditions Click here to access the General Distribution Portal

April 23, 2020 CMS implements a number of flexibilities for Medicare Advantage
 - such as co-pay, deductible and pre-auth waivers.
April 23, 2020 List of Health Insurance Providers and how they are responding to these flexibilities

April 22, 2020 Update to Cares Act $50B Provider Relief Fund announcing addtional allocations. APDA is currently reviewing this allocation for applicability to the Diagnostic Portable Industry. On April 24, a portion of providers will automatically be sent an advance payment based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to a portal opening this week. Please monitor the following link: for Portal access. Providers who receive their money automatically will still need to submit their revenue information so that it can be verified. 

April 21, 2020 Update to Covid-19 blanket waivers and flexibilities
see detail on provider specific waivers and approved waivers by state

April 19, 2020 CMS issues Recommendations to Reopen
Healthcare systems in areas with Low Incidence of Covid-19

April 19, 2020 Trump Administration announces new Nursing Home Covid-19 Transparency effort

April 16, 2020 White House presents Guidelines to Opening Up America Again

April 13, 2020 UPDATE TO CDC GUIDANCE ON RETURN TO WORK for Healthcare Personnel with confirmed or suspected Covid-19

April 11, 2020 AHCA/NCAL Issues Guidance on Reporting Covid-19 in SNFs and ALFs

April 9, 2020 CARES ACT PROVIDER RELIEF FUND-These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid. 

NOTE: Within 30 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions of payment. The portal for signing the attestation is now open-click here PORTAL


April 1, 2020 NEW ICD-10-CM Official Covid Coding and Reporting Guidelines April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 
March 31, 2020  ICD-10-CM Official Coding Guidelines - Supplement Coding encounters related to COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak


March 25, 2020 COVID-19 WAIVER 1135 - Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief FAQs

March 23, 2020 ASRT offers Free Infection Control Course including CEUs for X-Ray Technologists-no membership required

arch 18, 2020-New Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE

March 18, 2020-EEOC Clarifies Employer Rights 
What You Should Know about the ADA, Rehabilitation Act and Covid-19

OSHA STANDARDS-PPE, Employee rights, employer responsibilities, preventing worker exposure, 

COVID 19 AND THE WORKPLACE - Department of Labor 

March 12, 2020 ICD10 CODING FOR COVID-19- How to use ICD 10 CM new codes for COVID-19


ADHERE TO STANDARD AND TRANSMISSION BASED PRECAUTIONS-Standard Precautions assume that every person is potentially infected or colonized with a pathogen that could be transmitted in the healthcare setting. Read More

CDC CORONAVIRUS-Information on PPE supply, prevention tools, World Health Organization

COVID 19 FAQ FOR EMPLOYERS-Employee leave, wage & hour issues, workplace safety issues, w/c

March 11, 2020 ACR Recommendations for the use of CXR and CT for suspected COVID-19 infection


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