APDA COVID-19 Information, Updates and Resources
This Week's Headlines:
July 31, 2020 HHS reopens portal....Starting August 10, HHS will allow Medicare providers who missed the opportunity to apply for additional funds from the $20B portion of the $50B
July 29, 2020 HHS implements new rules for out of network providers
July 28, 2020 Businesses want liability protection in next stimulus bill.
DIRECTORY TO LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS After Hours 800# to STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
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 Homes. HHS 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. 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: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf
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 https://data.cms.gov/
May 6, 2020 Provider level data for the HHS Provider Relief Fund general distribution is available online here: https://data.cdc.gov/
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: https://www.hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html 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.
IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
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 2, 2020 TRUMP WANTS MASKS AND TEMP CHECKS FOR ALL AND SEPERATE COVID-19 UNITS
April 2, 2020 NEW CDC and CMS LONG TERM CARE FACILITY GUIDELINES
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 31, 2020 ACCELERATED AND ADVANCE MEDICARE PAYMENTS
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
March 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
FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT Q & A
March 12, 2020 ICD10 CODING FOR COVID-19- How to use ICD 10 CM new codes for COVID-19
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO NOW-PREPARING FOR COVID 19-PROTECT PATIENTS & EMPLOYEES-PPE & SUPPLIES-EDUCATION & CONTROL
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