Coronavirus update for Thursday, April 23 as of 5:00 p.m.
The House has passed H.R. 266, the $384 billion COVID-19 relief/economic stimulus bill that includes $75 billion for health care providers and $25 billion for testing.
Department of Health and Human Services
- Providers that received an email from CMS on Sunday night informing them that they are in a COVID-19 hotspot were directed to register their information through https://www.teletracking.com/ by noon on Saturday, April 25. Doing so does not guarantee eligibility for a share of the $10 billion that CMS announced yesterday that it would be distributing among providers that have been hit hard by COVID-19 but failing to provide the requested information will exclude providers from eligibility. Only providers that received the Sunday night email from CMS can submit the information to the site.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund web page to include new information about how it intends to distribute the final $70 billion of the $100 billion designated for hospitals in the CARES Act. It also describes its distribution methodology and timetable for distribution in this news release.
- HHS’s Office of the Inspector General has updated its FAQ addressing the application of its administrative enforcement authority to arrangements directly connected to the COVID-19 emergency.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has issued an FAQ on utilization management flexibilities health insurers can offer to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on health care providers.
- CMS has updated its guidance to Medicare Advantage organizations, Part D sponsors, and Medicare-Medicaid plans to further expand on a number of flexibilities they may implement during COVID-19 public health emergency to support efforts that can help curb the spread of the virus and to help ensure Medicare Advantage and Part D enrollees do not experience disruptions in care or disruptions in pharmacy and prescription drug access.
- CMS has updated its guidance for infection control and prevention of COVID-19 for home health agencies and religious non-medical health care institutions that make home health visits, including those that enter non-Medicare-licensed facilities.
- CMS has established a new toolkit for states to help accelerate adoption of broader telehealth coverage policies in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CMS has extended the comment period for stakeholder response to its proposed rule titled “Medicare Program: Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model Three-Year Extension and Changes to Episode Definition and Pricing,” which was published on February 24. The comment deadline, originally April 24, is now June 23.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has published information about how health care providers can optimize their supply of personal protective equipment.
- The CDC has posted strategies or options to optimize supplies of disposable N95 masks in health care settings when there is a limited supply.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on the decontamination of filtering facepiece respirators using contingency and crisis capacity strategies.
- The CDC has published information about contact tracing and COVID-19.
- The CDC has posted a tool for individuals to assess and manage their risk based on different exposures to COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its FAQ on children and COVID-19.
- The CDC has published information for health care providers about pregnant women and COVID-19.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has announced an enforcement policy for the use of non-invasive fetal and maternal monitoring devices to support patient monitoring during the COVID-19 crisis to expand the availability and capabilities of those devices.
- The FDA has issued an emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for monitors intended for use in hospitals to monitor adult, pediatric, and neonate patients having or suspected of having COVID-19.
- The FDA has issued EUAs for two new tests (here and here) to detect COVID-19.
- The FDA has issued guidance on its temporary policy regarding accredited third-party certification program on-site observation and certification requirements during the COVID-19 emergency.
National Governors Association
The National Governors Association has published “Roadmap to Recovery: A Public Health Guide for Governors.” The 38-page document presents the organization’s plan for reopening states in a manner that preserves public safety and confidence.
Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals
The National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals has prepared a document that collects and presents in one place the various new federal funding opportunities for hospitals resulting from legislation addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency. Find that document here.