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COVID-19 regulatory updates from the last week include a new CMS Interim Final Rule and resources for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the publication of a third COVID-19 Interim Final Rule linking data reporting requirements to Conditions of Participation (CoP) in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule also establishes limitations for the ordering of COVID-19 tests by non-physicians, announces non-enforcement of procedural volume requirements for certain national coverage decisions, and updates COVID-19 reporting relief policies for certain quality programs.
CMS released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published a new Interim Final Rule (IFR) related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address treatment of certain owner-employees, and limitations on eligibility of certain non-payroll costs for loan forgiveness. A separate second final rule was also published to explain the process for a PPP borrower to appeal certain SBA loan review decisions.
CMS will host its next Lessons from the Front Lines call on Friday, Sept. 4 at 12:30 – 2 p.m. ET. The calls are held twice a month on Fridays and are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their COVID-19 response. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared public health emergencies (PHEs) retroactive to Aug. 22, 2020 for the state of Louisiana and to Aug. 23, 2020 for the state of Texas in response to Hurricane Laura. CMS is working to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue operations and provide access to care despite the effects of Hurricane Laura. CMS provided numerous waivers to health care providers during the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to meet the needs of beneficiaries and providers. The waivers already in place will be available to health care providers to use during the duration of the COVID-19 PHE determination timeframe and for the Hurricane Laura PHE.
CMS is implementing an unprecedented national nursing home training program to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with the knowledge they need to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their nursing homes.