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New ‘Terms and Conditions’ Added for Providers Accepting Latest Round of CARES Funding

April 30, 2019 | CMS.gov

  • HHS has added another page of requirements to its 10-page terms and conditions to which providers receiving CARES Act grants must agree.
  • Providers have four basic options when considering the terms and conditions, legal analysts say.
  • Overpayments from the earlier tranche of CARES funding will be recouped through reduced second-round funding.

Providers receiving some of the $20 billion in new COVID-19 assistance that the federal government began to distribute April 24 will find some new strings attached to it.

The new requirements, also issued April 24, apply to $20 billion in provider assistance that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is distributing as part of the $100 billion provider fund included in the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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Trump Administration Issues Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 30,  2020 | CMS.gov

At President Trump’s direction, and building on its recent historic efforts to help the U.S. healthcare system manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued another round of sweeping regulatory waivers and rule changes to deliver expanded care to the nation’s seniors and provide flexibility to the healthcare system as America reopens. These changes include making it easier for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to get tested for COVID-19 and continuing CMS’s efforts to further expand beneficiaries’ access to telehealth services.

CLICK HERE to  review blanket waivers

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Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 (Interim Guidance) – REVISED

April 30, 2020 | CDC.gov

A summary of recent changes:

  • Changed the name of the ‘non-test-based strategy’ to the ‘symptom-based strategy’ for those with symptoms and the ‘time-based strategy’ for those without symptoms and updated these to extend the duration of exclusion from work to at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. This update was made based on evidence suggesting a longer duration of cultural viral shedding and will be revised as additional evidence becomes available.
  • Based on this extension of the symptom-based and time-based strategies, language about the test-based strategy being preferred was removed.

 

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Governor Abbott Announces Phase One to Open Texas, Establishes Statewide Minimum Standard Health Protocols

April 27, 2020 | Texas.gov

Governor Greg Abbott today announced the first phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

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CMS Re-evaluates Accelerated Payment Program and Suspends Advance Payment Program

April 27, 2020 | NGS Daily News – MLN Connects Special Edition

On April 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. The agency made this announcement following the successful payment of over $100 billion to health care providers and suppliers through these programs and in light of the $175 billion recently appropriated for health care provider relief payments.

For more information on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund and how to apply, visit: hhs.gov/providerrelief.

For an updated fact sheet on the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/Accelerated-and-Advanced-Payments-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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10 Ways to Prepare for a Post-Coronavirus Recession

April 27, 2020 | NGS

If there’s one thing home health care providers can agree on when it comes to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), it’s that the new model is shrouded in uncertainty.

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Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

April 24, 2020 | United States Department of Labor

This memorandum provides interim guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, with regard to the reuse of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) that have been decontaminated through certain methods.

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Shop These Brands Offering Special Discounts for Workers on the Front Lines of Covid-19

April 24, 2020 | CNN.com

Lots of companies are already helping to support coronavirus relief efforts, offering millions in donations or using their resources to make supplies like masks and hand sanitizer. But many brands are now also giving thanks directly to the people putting themselves on the line to fight the pandemic, with special discounts for essential workers.

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CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of Covid-19

April 20, 2020 | CMS.gov

As the United States continues to face the unprecedented public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic, the tide is turning and some areas throughout the country are seeing a decline in cases. As states and localities begin to stabilize, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing guidance on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19. This is part of Phase 1 in the Trump Administration’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

CMS Recommendations

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Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings

April 13, 2020 | CDC.gov

Summary of Changes to the Guidance

  • To address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, implement source control for everyone entering a healthcare facility (e.g., healthcare personnel, patients, visitors), regardless of symptoms.
    • This action is recommended to help prevent transmission from infected individuals who may or may not have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE because their capability to protect healthcare personnel (HCP) is unknown. Facemasks, if available, should be reserved for HCP.
    • For visitors and patients, a cloth face covering may be appropriate. If a visitor or patient arrives to the healthcare facility without a cloth face covering, a facemask may be used for source control if supplies are available.
  • Actively screen everyone for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter the healthcare facility.
  • As community transmission intensifies within a region, healthcare facilities could consider foregoing contact tracing for exposures in a healthcare setting in favor of universal source control for HCP and screening for fever and symptoms before every shift.

 

Added links to updated guidance for:

Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and other Equipment

Interim Guidance for Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

Interim Guidance on Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19.

Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages

 

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