Coronavirus update for Friday, June 26 as of 3:30 p.m.
Department of Health and Human Services
HHS updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ. The latest changes are marked “6/22/2020.” Most refer to the planned Provider Relief Fund distribution of $15 billion to Medicaid and CHIP providers.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has posted an FAQ on implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- CMS has issued guidance to hospitals on visits to patients who are COVID-19 negative.
- CMS has clarified previous guidance that Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will not calculate the average length of stay for long-term-care hospitals (LTCHs) for purposes of applying the LTCH 25-day length-of-stay requirement for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
- CMS has updated its emergency declarations blanket waivers for health care providers. See CMS’s emergency blanket waiver document here, its announcement about its changes here, and its memo to state Medicaid officials and nursing home stakeholders here.
- CMS has published a fact sheet for qualifying clinicians and groups to apply for exceptions to meeting merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) program requirements based on circumstances out of their control, such as the COVID-19 emergency. See CMS’s quality payment program web page for further information.
- CMS has revised its billing instructions under its skilled nursing facility benefit period waiver.
- CMS has issued an FAQ on nursing home visitation.
- CMS issued a proposed rule that calls for routine updates to the home health payment rates for calendar year (CY) 2021. It also includes a proposal to make permanent the regulatory changes related to telecommunications technologies in providing care under the Medicare home health benefit beyond the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. See CMS’s announcement and the proposed rule itself.
- In the past week CMS issued two section 1135 waiversto give states greater flexibility to serve their Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 public health emergency. It issued waivers to Montana and New York.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for seven new commercial diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Find them here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- The FDA has issued an EUA for a new commercial serology tests for COVID-19. Find it here.
- The FDA has updated its list of EUAs for ventilators and ventilator accessories.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
The CDC has updated and expanded its list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19.
Department of Labor
The Labor Department has posted an online tool to help workers determine whether they are eligible for paid sick leave due to COVID-19.
Government Accountability Office
The GAO has issued a new report, COVID-19: Opportunities to Improve Federal Response and Recovery Efforts, that describes the federal response to the pandemic, reaches conclusions about that response, and offers recommendations for improving the government response to such crises.
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.