Tag: covid-19

HHS Announces Distribution from PRF to Medicaid Providers

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the distribution of additional relief funds from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children’s ...

COVID-19 Nursing Home Data and Inspection Results Released

On June 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they are posting the first set of COVID-19 nursing home data they have collected. The data update includes details on COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes and the r...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

CMMI Provides Further Details on OCM COVID-19 Flexibilities

On Friday, June 5, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) hosted a conference call to review the COVID-19 flexibilities announced for the Oncology Care Model (OCM). Under the OCM, physician practices have entered into payment a...

CMS Extends Next Generation ACO Model, Provides Flexibilities for Participants

On Friday, June 5, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center announced a series of updates to the Next Generation ACO model timeline and financial methodology. The model was initially set to conclude at the end of this ye...

CMS Updates QPP Resources

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uploaded new and updated materials to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Library:

  • 2020 MIPS Exceptions Application Fact Sheet
This new resource details the automat...

Senate Democrats Introduce Plan for Coverage Expansion During Pandemic

Senate Democrats have released a white paper including proposals that Democrats have called for in response to COVID-19, such as covering all costs for COVID-19 treatment, subsidizing COBRA premiums for recently unemployed individuals, and establishi...

OIG Reports on COVID-19 Plans and Actions

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its semiannual report to Congress on June 1, 2020. In the document, the OIG reported on its COVID-19 pandemic activities. By mid-March, OIG had developed a d...

CMS May Take Back CARES Funding if Nursing Home Inspection Rates Do Not Improve

In response to low inspection rates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced they are taking a series of steps to address inspection rate deficiencies and other challenges facing nursing homes in their response to COVID-19....

E&C Republican Release Set of Recommendations for Potential Second Wave of COVID-19 Infections

The Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Republicans released a set of recommendations on testing and surveillance to better position the country for any future spikes in infections. The report considers current testing capacity and provides recom...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

CMMI Announces Model Extensions, Delays, and Adjustments in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, June 3, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released new flexibilities and adjustments for payment models to help protect physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMMI released a comprehensive table detailing the announced f...

President Trump Issues an EO on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery

On May 19, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing federal agencies to identify regulations that can be rescinded or temporarily waived to promote job creation and economic growth. Additionally, the EO asks agencies to speed up...

HHS Extends Deadline to Accept Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund Payments

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has again extended the deadline for providers to accept the Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund payments. Eligible providers now have 90 days from the date they received the payment to accep...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

House Approves HEROES Act

The US House of Representatives on May 15, 2020, approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act a massive new relief and stimulus measure assembled by House Democrats and advanced on party lines, with only one Repu...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

FDA updated its FAQ document

FDA continues to regularly update its FAQ regarding COVID-19 testing. In terms of EUAs, the FDA has issued 75 for commercial laboratories and/or manufacturer test kits. It has also issued 28 EUAs for high complexity, molecular based LDTs. Coronavir...

House Introduces $3 Trillion Funding Bill

On May 12, 2020, the House Democrats released a fifth emergency funding bill in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. This $3 trillion bill funds a wide range of in...

CMS Requires Nursing Homes to Report COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) requiring nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases and deaths at least weekly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This i...

Providers Now Have 45 Days to Attest to Payments and Accept Terms and Conditions

On May 7, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced providers who receive funds from the Provider Relief Fund now have 45 days to attest to receiving payment and accept certain terms and conditions. Previously, providers had 3...

Agencies Release Data Detailing the Distribution of COVID-19 Support Funds

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released new data providing additional details in how federal financial supports have been distributed to providers throughout the country...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

FDA approves the first antigen test for diagnosing COVID-19

On May 8, 2020, the FDA issued its first Emergency Use Authorization for an antigen test for the diagnosis of COVID-19. This test is authorized in moderate and high complexity labs as well as at point-of-care testing. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: ...

FDA approves the first diagnostic test using at-home saliva collection

The FDA announced today its issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization for its first laboratory diagnostic test using at-home collected saliva samples. Currently, this is the only authorized test using saliva samples. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:...

CMS Issues New Waivers and Flexibilities for Providers

On April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a second Interim Final Rule and additional waivers that provide increased regulatory relief and flexibility for healthcare providers during the public health emergency. ...

Payment Increases for Audio-only Visit Codes (99441-99443)

Through an interim final rule released on April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increased payment for telephone evaluation and management codes (99441-99443) to match payments for similar outpatient visit codes. This ch...

MACPAC Urges HHS to Provide Relief to Medicaid Providers

On April 30, the Medicare and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the Administrator to speed relief to Medicaid providers across the nation. This is the second letter th...

COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

CMS Issues MSSP ACO Policy Changes in New Interim Final Rule

On April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a second Interim Final Rule and additional waivers related to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). For ACOs in two-sided ri...

CMS released a second Interim Final Rule on COVID-19 with additional waivers, giving more flexibility to providers

This afternoon, CMS published a second interim final rule on COVID-19 with some key changes in the lab / diagnostic space:

  • Requirement that the test be ordered by a treating physician or nurse practitioner has been removed
  • COVD-...

    Emergency Fund and Paycheck Protection Program Receive Additional Funding Through Fourth COVID Legislation

    On Friday, April 24, 2020, the fourth Coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), was signed into law. It provides an additional $310 billion for small business loans available thr...

    Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Launches Fund Tracker Site

    Established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) has launched a site to track how the $2.4 trillion in federal dollars are being distributed to support industries acr...

    COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

    As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

    CMS Offers Additional Flexibilities and Supports to CPC+ Participants during the PHE

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented changes to the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) payment model to ensure participating providers have the supports and the flexibility necessary to provide care during the curr...

    CJR Proposed Rule Comment Period Extended to June 23

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the comment period deadline to June 23, 2020, for stakeholders to submit comments on the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model Three-Year Extension and Changes to Episod...

    HRSA Launches Reimbursement Portal for Uninsured Claims

    The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) opened the portal for certain types of providers to apply for reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and treating services for the uninsured. These funds are part of the Public Health and Social S...

    CMS Promotes COVID-19 Clinical Trials Improvement Activity in Letter to Clinicians

    In a letter to clinicians, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged clinicians who participate in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) to contribute to scientific research and evidence through clinical trials to help fight the C...

    CMS Updates QPP Resources

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uploaded new and updated materials to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Library:

    • Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response
    This resource detailing the current fle...

    Update on HHS Emergency Fund Distribution

    On April 22, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of an additional $40.4 billion from the $100 billion from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (the Fund) in four targeted areas to be distribu...

    Rural Providers Receive Nearly $165 Million in CARES Funding

    On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support...

    HHS Delays Implementation of Interoperability Rules in Response to COVID-19

    On April 21, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services announced delays to the implementation of certain provisions of the interoperability final rules released on March 9, 2020, in response to COVID-19. A series of announcements were release...

    Telehealth Roundup: Resources, Flexibilities and Funding Opportunities

    Leveraging the use of telehealth technologies has become a critical component of ensuring beneficiaries receive necessary care while protecting both healthcare workers and patients from COVID-19. This past week there have been a number of telehealth-...

    CMS Issues Guidance for States as They Emerge from Public Health Emergency Restrictions

    On April 19, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidelines and recommendations for providers and facilities as they emerge from public health emergency restrictions. These guidelines were released in response to the A...

    COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

    As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

    2020 Medicare Trustees Report Released

    On April 22, 2020, the Medicare Board of Trustees released their annual report for Medicare’s two separate trust funds — the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, which funds Medicare Part A, and the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund...

    HHS Distributes $30 Billion to FFS Medicare Providers

    On April 10, 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began distributing $30 billion from the $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, an...

    Main Street Lending Program Offers Loans to Small and Midsize Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

    On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced the Main Street Lending Program for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will offer 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billi...

    CMS Increases Payment for High Throughput COVID-19 Lab Tests

    On April 15, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they will pay $100, nearly doubling payment, for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose COVID-19 cases. Medicare will pay lab...

    CMS Approves $51 Billion in Accelerated and Advance Payments

    Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they had distributed more than $51 billion in advanced payments to healthcare providers. This is an increase from the first week of the expanded program when it was announced t...

    Ventilator Exchange Program Announced

    On April 14, 2020, the Administration announced a national ventilator exchange program led by Adam Boehler, former Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Under this voluntary program, hospitals will be able to lend unused ventil...

    CMS Announces Plan to Reprocess IPPS and LTCH Claims for 20% Increase for COVID Discharges

    On April 15, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans for reprocessing Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospitals and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) claims to account for payment increases for COVID-19 d...

    COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

    As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

    HHS Announces Plan to Use $1 billion from CARES Act Funding to Treat Uninsured COVID-19 Patients

    The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Friday, April 3, 2020, during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force that Administration’s current plan is to use a portion of the $100 billion CARES Act funding to...

    CMS Issues Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments

    On April 2, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued recommendations to state and local governments, as well as nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes. The recomme...

    OIG Survey Finds Hospitals Experiencing Shortages of Testing Supplies and PPE

    On April 6, 2020, the Office of the Inspector of General (OIG), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released findings from a survey of hospitals from March 23-27, 2020 to assess the challenges facing hospitals.

    • Hospitals reported...

      COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

      As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

      CMS Updates QPP Resources

      The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uploaded new and updated materials to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Library:

      • 2020 Registration Guide for the CMS Web Interface and CAHPS for MIPS Survey
      The r...

      CMS Announces CY 2021 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies

      On April 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the annual capitation rates for calendar year 2021 for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D. The agency states these adjustments and new policies will continue to advance, modern...

      CMS Approves Sweeping Changes to Expand Care During the National Emergency

      On March 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several new temporary waivers and an interim final rule to expand beneficiary access to services during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Section 1135 of the ...

      Trump Administration Calls on Hospitals to Report COVID-19 Data

      On March 29, 2020, the Trump Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to hospitals across the country requesting immediate and daily reporting of COVID-19 testing data from in-house laboratories. In the le...

      CMS Expands Accelerated Payment Program

      On March 28, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an expansion of its accelerated payment program to help provide financial relief to Medicare providers and suppliers affected by COVID-19. This announcement was relea...

      COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

      As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

      CMS Updates QPP Resources

      The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uploaded new and updated materials to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Library:

      • Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response
      This resource provides additional infor...

      CMS Issues Guidance on Open Payment Data Submission

      The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance related to Open Payment reporting. The agency has indicated they do not have the authority to extend the deadline for reporting entities past the current March 30th d...

      Congress passes CARES Act

      On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act represents the third largest stimulus bill passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and with $2 trillion in allocatio...

      COVID-19 Activities and Actions Update

      As part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting o...

      CMS Approves 11 Additional Medicaid Section 1135 Waivers

      This announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) brings the total number of approved Section 1135 waivers for states to 13. On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared the COVID-19 situation a national emergency which enabl...

      Primary Care First Deadline Extended

      In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the healthcare industry, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the payer solicitation period for the Primary Care First (PCF) Model until May 20, 2020. The PCF Model ...

      MIPS 2019 Performance Year Submission Deadline Extended

      On March 23, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the deadline for clinicians to submit data for the 2019 performance year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The deadline has been extended from March 31...

      Trump Administration Expands Medicare Telehealth Benefits

      On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies released further guidance on the use of telehealth during the coronavirus (COVID-19) national emergency. The guidance implements provisions of the Coronavirus ...

      AMA Adopts New CPT Code for COVID-19 Lab Testing

      The American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Editorial Panel adopted a new CPT® code that describes the laboratory testing for COVID-19. The new CPT® code is effective as of March 13...

      COVID-19 Activities and Actions

      As part of ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies have issued several resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting organ...

      CMS COVID-19 Activities and Actions

      As part of ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a number of resource documents, refocused activities related to state survey agencies and accrediting organizations; and ta...

      Bipartisan Bill Relaxes Federal Telehealth Requirements in the Wake of COVID-19

      On March 6, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-123) into law. This bill takes important steps to allow healthcare providers to deploy telehealth resources in respon...