The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23.

Continuing Resolution to Fund the Federal Government

The House has passed, and the Senate is expected to take up and pass as soon as this week, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government from the beginning of the new fiscal year, on October 1, through December 11; the president is expected to sign the measure.  Key health care provisions in this continuing resolution include:

  • Changes in the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program that extend the period before repayment begins and the period before the balance must be repaid in full; reduce the recoupment percentage; and lower the interest rates for this and comparable programs.
  • A delay in the Affordable Care Act-mandated reduction of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states through December 11.
  • Extended funding for Community Health Centers, the National Health Services Corps, and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program through December 11.
  • Extended funding for the Special Diabetes Program through December 11.
  • Extended authorization for the certified community behavioral health clinics demonstration program through December 11.
  • Clarification that drugs and biologicals used for medication-assisted treatment, which must be covered by Medicaid beginning on October 1, will continue to be eligible for rebates under the Medicaid program.


Provider Relief Fund

HHS’s Provider Relief Fund FAQ has been updated with four new questions that address nursing home quality payments.  The new questions, all marked “Added 9/18/2020,” can be found on pages 46 through 48 of the FAQ.

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS announced that the CDC will provide $200 million in CARES Act money for COVID-19 vaccine preparedness to existing grantees through CDC’s immunization cooperative agreement.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

On Thursday, September 24 at 4:00 (eastern), CMS and CDC will hold a “CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management Call.”  Go here for information on how to register and submit questions.

Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has updated the question-and-answer appendix in its guidance “Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.”  The updated guidance includes a new question and answer about a clinical trial investigator’s responsibility to review all investigational new drug application safety reports, including reports that will not result in a change of the investigator brochure, informed consent, or protocol.

Federal Reserve System

The Federal Reserve System has updated its FAQs for the Main Street Lending Program, which supports lending to small and medium-sized for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic but lack access to credit on reasonable terms.  Go here for the announcement of the updated FAQs and for links to the FAQs themselves.