The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15.
The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of Wednesday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m.
The White House
- Yesterday President Trump announced the creation of the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve program through which health care providers with a surplus of ventilators will be able to share their reserves with hospitals that need additional ventilators. Hospitals, the president noted when discussing this program, are already doing this, and he said the federal government will develop a reserve of ventilators to support this program. Interested parties can learn more here.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has published a notice describing new waivers for inpatient prospective payment system hospitals, long-term-care hospitals (LTCHs), and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) required by the CARES Act.
- For acute-care hospitals, the waiver addresses coding for COVID-19 patients and increases relative weights for DRGs for those patients retroactive to January 27, thereby increasing payments 20 percent.
- For IRFs, the waiver eliminates the requirement that Medicare Part A patients receive at least 15 hours of therapy a week.
- For LTCHs, the waiver temporarily pays all LTCH cases through the LTCH prospective payment system retroactive to January 27 and modifies the calculation of the LTCH 50 percent rule, thereby increasing some LTCH payments.
- CMS has announced that it will nearly double payments for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 tests.
Health Resources and Services Administration
- HRSA is temporarily waiving fees for skilled health care practitioner license queries of the National Practitioner Data Bank to facilitate the deployment of workforce resources.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has updated its FAQs on diagnostic testing for COVID-19.
- The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for the use of a specific commercial technology to assist in weaning patients determined by health care providers to be at high risk of weaning failure off breathing assistance machines requiring intubation for no more than 30 days.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its interim guidance for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for patients with COVID-19 and those suspected of having COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its COVID-19 infection control guidance.
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
- MedPAC has written to CMS administrator Seema Verma asking her not to use data from 2020 when evaluating the performance of Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs); to allow a three-year extension of the NextGen ACO model through 2023; and to delay the start of the innovation direct contracting model by at least a year.