The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16.

White House


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS announced that it is increasing Medicare payments for administering COVID-19 vaccines.  Effective for COVID-19 vaccines administered on or after March 15, 2021, the national average payment rate for physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, and many other immunizers will be $40 to administer each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  This represents an increase from approximately $28 to $40 for the administration of single-dose vaccines and an increase from approximately $45 to $80 for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines requiring two doses.  The exact rate will depend on the type of entity furnishing the service and will be geographically adjusted.  Resources that provide additional information about this increase include:
  • CMS has issued a correction notice making changes in the telehealth list finalized in the Medicare physician fee schedule rule that affects providers that bill for evaluation and management services as part of those telehealth visits.  The notice explains that CMS “inadvertently included” CPT codes 99221, 99222, and 99223 in the table that represents the Category 3 temporary additions to the telehealth list through the end of 2021 or the year in which the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.  These are evaluation and management codes for initial hospital care (30, 50, 70+ minutes).  This does not affect the ability of providers to bill for these services during the public health emergency.
  • CMS has released a fact sheet that outlines how the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – the COVID-19 relief bill – affects the health care marketplace, the cost of health insurance, and access to subsidized insurance made available through the Affordable Care Act.  Find that fact sheet here.
  • CMS has introduced an infographic presenting its new guidance for visiting nursing homes.  This infographic is available in English and Spanish.
  • In recent days CMS has issued two dozen section 1135 waivers to give states greater flexibility to serve their Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 public health emergency.


HHS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes.  These webinar topics are covered every week:

  • EMS:  Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Critical Care:  Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
  • Emergency Department:  Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)

Go here for information about signing up to participate in the sessions and go here for access to materials and video recordings of past sessions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Food and Drug Administration