Coronavirus update for April 20, 2020.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  •  CMS has issued guidance on providing non-essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19. It views this guidance as part of phase one of the administration’s plan to reopen the U.S. economy.  See CMS’s news release on this guidance here and the guidance itself here.  Under this guidance, individual states will determine for themselves when it is appropriate to begin the “reopening” process.  As a practical matter, only Oklahoma, Texas, and Alaska, to our knowledge, have identified concrete dates for commencing the delivery of the described non-essential care.
  • To ensure appropriate tracking, response, and mitigation of COVID-19 in nursing homes, CMS is reinforcing an existing requirement that nursing homes must report communicable diseases, health care-associated infections, and potential outbreaks to state and local health departments. In rulemaking that will follow, CMS is requiring facilities to report this data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Control (CDC) in a standardized format and frequency defined by CMS and CDC.  See CMS’s announcement of its intentions; a memo CMS has sent to state Medicaid agencies; and additional CDC guidance.
  • In February, CMS published a rule that would change certain requirements for pre-admission screening and resident review (PASRR) to reflect updates in diagnostic criteria for mental illness and intellectual disability. Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the agency is extending the deadline for stakeholder comment from the current April 20 – today – to May 20.


Department of Health and Human Services


Food and Drug Administration


Federal Emergency Management Agency