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COVID-19 Regulatory Resources

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CDC

CDC has updated its Toolkit for Healthcare Providers.     11/18/20 

CDC releases consolidated COVID-19 testing recommendations, including interim testing guidelines for nursing home residents and healthcare personnel, as well as testing strategy options for high-density critical infrastructure workplaces after a COVID-19 case is identified. These recommendations compile and update previous testing guidance. 6/13/20   

CDC updated their suite of guidance for Nursing homes and staff who work in them (Includes guidance on facility wide testing, performing testing and key strategies.) 5/19/20 

CDC Revised Guidance for Testing Priority (reflects updated recommendations for testing, specimen collection, reporting patients and positive test results, and specification of testing priorities) 5/3/20  

CDC Webinars on LTCF COVID-19 Module for Public Health Reporting  CDC hosted two webinars this week offering post-acute providers an overview of the CDC’s new LTCF COVID-19 Module for long term care facilities to report on COVID-19 to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Reporting to NHSN requires facilities to be actively enrolled with the NHSN to gain secure access to the network. The webinars will be replayed next week. The first, COVID-19 Module Overview for Long Term Care Facilities, will be replayed on Monday, May 4 at 2pm Eastern. Slides from yesterday’s initial run are now available for download.  The second, COVID-19 Enrollment Guidance for Long Term Care Facilities, will be replayed on Tuesday, May 5 at 3pm Eastern. Please visit the CDC webpage for details on accessing upcoming replays.

CDC’s Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  5/4/20

CDC’s Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  CDC Updated recommendations for testing, specimen collection, and reporting patients and reporting positive test results And Specification of testing priorities  5/3/20 

 

CARES Act

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions  (Revise FAQs capture modifications to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund as it relates to SNF distribution.  HHS will distribute $4.9 billion in additional funding to more than 13,000 skilled nursing facilities, ranging in size fro six to 1,389 beds.)  6/1/20

House of Representatives Budget Committee FAQ on Sequester 3/27/20
https://budget.house.gov/publications/report/FAQs-on-Sequester-An-Update-for-2020

 

HHS

HHS Announces $20 Billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding  10/1/20  HHS through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $20 billion in new funding for providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments are invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial loss and changes in operating expenses caused by the pandemic.  Providers can apply for funds between October 5 and November 6, 2020. 

ASPR Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges  4/22/20 (licensure information for many practitioners but not rehab therapists)  https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/Workforce-Virtual-Toolkit

 

CMS

CMS Updates Medicare COVID-19 Snapshot  11/19/20 (Monthly update covering the period from January 1 to September 12, 2020 of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population, showing over 1 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 332,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.)

CMS Posts Updated COVID-19 Nursing Home Data for Week Ending November 8, 2020 11/19/20 (Total COVID-19 Confirmed Cases reported– 311,530; Total COVID-19 Suspected Cases reported – 160,957; Total COVID-19 Deaths reported – 67,543.  The Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File includes data reported by nursing homes to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Module.  For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.

CMS released the first episode in a Nursing Home Podcast Series for Front Line Clinicians and Staff  11/19/20 (Discusses training and infection control practices in nursing homes to help combat the spread of COVID-19.)

CMS’ New One-Stop Nursing Home Resource Center Assists Providers, Caregivers, Residents  10-30-20
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Nursing Home Resource Center, a new online resource center that will consolidate all nursing home information, guidance and resources into a user-friendly, one-stop-shop that is easily navigable so providers and caregivers can spend less time searching for critical answers and more time caring for residents. Moreover, the new platform contains features specific to residents and their families, ensuring they have the information needed to make empowered decisions about their healthcare.

With the new page, people can efficiently navigate all facility inspection reports and data – including COVID-19 pandemic and PHE information. This tool will remain active through and beyond the COVID-19 PHE.

CMS has also updated its guidance memo titled, “COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Laboratory Data Reporting: CARES Act Section 18115” from June 4 to include that nursing facilities are required to report their COVID testing results from the Point of Care devices performed in their facility to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).  CMS is giving providers until November 20, 2020 to be ready to report through NHSN. Please note that the updated memo still has the old June 4th date on it. 

CMS Updates Medicare COVID-19 Snapshot  10/2/20  Updated data contained in CMS’ monthly update of data shows over 1 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 284,000 hospitalizations.  The rate of COVID-19 cases among Medicare beneficiaries grew 30% since the August release to 1,562 cases per 100,000 beneficiaries and the rate of hospitalizations grew 32% to 444 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries.

CMS Updates COVID-19 Testing Methodology for Nursing Homes  9/29/20 (Facilities are expected to use the county-level, color coded rating system to determine the frequency for testing facility staff and residents in accordance with CMS guidance.)

Updated SNF Quality Reporting Program COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet Posted 9/8/20  The purpose of this Tip Sheet is to help providers understand CMS’ public reporting strategy for the PAC QRP in the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).

CMS has released version 6 of its Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes ... Version 6  7/20

CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries 7-28-20 (First monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population, including for the first time American Indian/ Alaskan Native beneficiaries.

CMS released the third version of their  Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes ... Version 3.  6/15/20 (Many chapters on various topics like testing that states have taken.  Includes hyperlinks.) 

CMS memo to State Survey Agency Directors Re COVID-19 Survey Activities, CARES Act Funding, Enhanced Enforcement for Infection Control deficiencies, and Quality Improvement Activities in Nursing Homes  (Recommendations for stepped up survey efforts around COVID-19 to include the use of CARES Act funding for state survey activities.)

  • Press Release: Trump Administration Unveils Enhanced Enforcement Actions Based on Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspection Results
  • Related Joint Letter from CMS and CDC to the Nation’s Governors

Training slides and worksheets shared during CMS’ first of eight weekly training session on setting up an infection control and prevention program are available from CMS' Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program.  Sign up here to receive information on future installments in the National Nursing Home Training Series.  5/28/20

CMS Announcement re Nursing Home Reporting Requirement 5/15/20

CMS Issues Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit to Combat COVID-19  (updated 5/13/20)  (Includes additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes)

Letter from Seema Verma to Nursing Home Management and Staff  Administrator Verma expressed gratitude for the unwavering dedication and commitment of nursing home management and staff in keeping residents safe and for continuing to compassionately care for those who rely on them during this unprecedented time. The letter also provides links to previously shared infection control resources.  5/11/20  

Modified COVID-19 Ordering Requirements for Laboratory Billing  4/30/20 

CMS Interim Final Rule with Comment Period Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program  5/8/20  (directs SNFs and NF) to provide two types of reports about cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff:  1) public health reporting that shares data with the CDC and 2) facility reporting to inform residents, their representatives & families about any occurrences of COVID-19 within a facility.)

 

Telehealth

In a Coronavirus FAQ document (See pages 70-71) dated May 27, 2020, CMS announced that it is allowing institutional settings to furnish and bill for outpatient therapy delivered via telehealth during the ongoing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.  Question: Can outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth and separately paid under Part B be reported on an institutional claim (e.g., UB-04) during the COVID-19 PHE?  Answer: Yes, outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth, and are separately paid and not included as part of a bundled institutional payment, can be reported on institutional claims with the “-95” modifier applied to the service line.

NASL Telehealth Update 3/30/20
http://nasl.mymemberfuse.com/resources2/view/profile/id/99278

Medicare Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  CMS provided additional details in the form of an FAQ document regarding telehealth waiver provisions and the public health emergency (PHE).  3/17/20
https://edit.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-telehealth-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-31720.pdf

 

Telehealth Updates for Rehab Providers

APTA: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2020/4/30/CMSOpensTelehealth/

AOTA: https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2020/Medicare-Telehealth-Success.aspx?promo_name=cms-tele-apr&promo_creative=Advocacy-Policy&promo_position=hero

ASHA: https://www.asha.org/About/Coronavirus-Updates/

 

OIG

FAQs–Application of OIG's Administrative Enforcement Authorities to Arrangements Directly Connected to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency updated 5/14/20