August 25, 2021
Click to view RHIhub This Week.
August 25, 2021
Click to view RHIhub This Week.
August 24, 2021
Part of Biden-Harris Administration Vaccine Outreach, CMS Boosts Vaccine Access in Smaller Group Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, and Other Group Living Situations
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to vaccinations and improving health equity, CMS is expanding opportunities for people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in their home. To ensure Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulty leaving their homes or are otherwise hard-to-reach can receive the vaccination, health care providers can now receive additional payments for administering vaccines to multiple residents in one home setting or communal setting of a home.
This announcement aims to further boost the administration of COVID-19 vaccination – including second and third doses – in smaller group homes, assisted living facilities, and other group living situations by allowing vaccine providers to receive the increased payment up to 5 times when fewer than 10 Medicare beneficiaries get the vaccine on the same day in the same home or communal setting. This policy will help ensure that at-risk patients in smaller settings have the same opportunities as others to receive the vaccination.
“We are doing everything we can to remove barriers to vaccinations, including ensuring appropriate payment levels for vaccine providers to connect with more people in their communities who are unable to receive the vaccine in a traditional setting,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “We’ve seen the difference that vaccinations have in communities, and we are calling on providers to join us as we continue to increase vaccination rates across the country. Today’s actions ensure that everyone has the ability to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including older adults with mobility or transportation challenges and other at-risk individuals.”
While many Medicare beneficiaries are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a retail pharmacy or from a health care provider, some people have great difficulty leaving their homes or cannot easily access vaccination in these settings. These individuals are often at-risk patients who could require complex care if they contracted COVID-19 and needed to be hospitalized. To better serve this group, Medicare previously increased the total payment amount for at-home vaccination from approximately $40 to approximately $75 per vaccine dose, in certain circumstances.
Delivering COVID-19 vaccination to access-challenged and hard-to-reach individuals poses some unique challenges, such as ensuring appropriate vaccine storage temperatures, handling, and administration. Along with the CDC guidance, this announcement helps vaccine providers meet these challenges and successfully administer vaccinations.
The additional payment amount also accounts for the clinical time needed to monitor a beneficiary after the vaccine is administered, as well as the upfront costs associated with administering the vaccine safely and appropriately in a beneficiary’s home. The payment rate for administering each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the additional in-home payment amount, is geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished.
How to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine:
As states and the federal government continue to break down barriers – like where vaccines can be administered – resources for connecting communities to vaccination options remain key. Unvaccinated individuals and those looking to assist friends and family can:
Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines:
The federal government is providing the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge or with no cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries. As a condition of receiving free COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, vaccine providers cannot charge patients any amount for administering the vaccine.
Because no patient can be billed for COVID-19 vaccinations, CMS and its partners have provided a variety of information online for providers vaccinating all Americans regardless of their insurance status:
For individuals who are underinsured, vaccine providers may submit claims for reimbursement for administering the COVID-19 vaccine through the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund administered by HRSA after the claim to the individual’s health plan for payment has been denied or only partially paid.
For individuals who are uninsured, vaccine providers may submit claims for reimbursement for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals without insurance through the Provider Relief Fund, administered by HRSA. See information on the COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured Program.
More information on Medicare payment for COVID-19 vaccine administration – including a list of billing codes, payment allowances and effective dates – is available on the Medicare COVID-19 Vaccine Shot Payment webpage.
More information regarding the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and how the COVID-19 vaccine is provided through that program at no cost to recipients is available on the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and Support webpage.
August 25, 2021
Click here to view the Research Alert.
Date: September 2, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM CT
The practice and delivery of healthcare is changing with an emphasis on improving quality, safety, efficiency, and access to care. Telemedicine can help you achieve these goals! The Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center, and Arizona Department of Health Services invite you to a free webinar on the implementation and practice of telemedicine.
Ben Steinhafel is the Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law (CTeL). Ben has been closely monitoring the telehealth flexibilities issued at the state and federal levels and proactively educates policymakers on the benefits of expanded telehealth and its potential to increase access to care for all Americans.
Prior to joining CTeL, Ben served in the Executive Branch at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, where he oversaw the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program on the agency’s Congressional Affairs team. Ben also served in the U.S. House of Representatives as a health care advisory for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.
Date: September 9, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM CT
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) will be holding two interactive webinars in September to emphasize vigilance in preventing influenza in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar will cover the following topics:
Following the presentations there will be time for an interactive discussion with our presenters (listed below) and other IAC experts.
This webinar is supported by IAC and a vaccine education grant from Seqirus, Inc.
August 23, 2021
Click to view the Research Alert.
Date: September 14, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM CT
As of August 2021, COVID-19 has tragically taken the lives of more than 10,000 Missourians and upended the social and economic fabric of all its residents. The pandemic continues to challenge public health in the state, highlighting the importance of a strong public health system at all levels of government.
In the summer of 2020, the Missouri Foundation for Health contracted the George Washington University to assess Missouri’s public health preparedness and response capacities to the pandemic and future public health crises.
The state now has a singular opportunity to build and modernize stronger public health agencies at the state and local levels. But how do we move forward?
In this webinar we will discuss:
August 19, 2021
More Federal Support for Rural Telehealth. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced awards of more than $19 million to expand telehealth services in rural areas and underserved communities. In addition to projects that connect rural providers to specialists for complex conditions, the funding continues the work of HRSA-supported Telehealth Resource Centers that provide guidance for implementing telehealth in every part of the country.
CDC Clinician Outreach: Additional mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines for Immunocompromised People. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorizations for additional doses of vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Studies indicate that some immunocompromised people who have been vaccinated have a reduced immune response compared to vaccine recipients who are not immunocompromised. Studies have further demonstrated that an additional vaccine dose in some immunocompromised populations may enhance immune response. During this clinician outreach call that took place on August 17, presenters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discussed the current data and CDC’s guidance on additional COVID-19 doses in immunocompromised people.
“The Critical Role of Monoclonal Antibodies as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues” Webinar Recording Available. The Health Resources and Services Administration recently held a webinar featuring Michael R. Anderson, MD, a Senior Advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, who discussed how monoclonal antibody therapeutics can help prevent serious illness from COVID-19. Dr. Anderson shared updates on available COVID-19 therapeutics including efficacy, new administration routes and novel treatments in the pipeline, reimbursement resources, and provider and patient tools and fact sheets. For further questions, contact Dr. Anderson and his team.
Awards for the Rural Northern Border Region Planning Program. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy recently announced four awards of approximately $760,000 each for a new program identifying health care challenges in rural counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission. This eighteen-month project will support planning activities such as, but not limited to, community needs assessments, formal strategic planning processes, and infrastructure development.
New Insights on Maternity Care, Clinical Quality Measures, and Medication-Assisted Treatment. HRSA’s Health Centers Program published new research briefs exploring health center capacity in maternity care deserts, differences in clinical quality measures among Appalachian and non-Appalachian health centers, and the role of health centers in providing medication-assisted treatment. The briefs were developed through the UDS Mapper—a tool that helps evaluate the geographic reach, penetration, and growth of the Health Center Program and its relationship to other federally-linked health resources.
ERS: Rural Poverty Has Distinct Regional and Racial Patterns. A study from the Economic Research Service (ERS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that, out of 310 counties with high and persistent poverty in 2019, 86 percent were rural. Nearly half of rural residents who identify as Black or African American and American Indian or Alaska Native lived in these persistent poverty counties; by comparison, 20 percent of poor Hispanics and 12 percent of rural non-Hispanic Whites resided in those counties.
History of the Swing Bed. The feature of the latest Rural Monitor reviews the history of the swing bed program, which provides continued care for patients after injury or illness in a rural hospital. The article describes how post-acute care for rural residents shifted from urban hospitals and aspects of the swing bed program that contributed to its success.
Date: August 25, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM CT
Starting up a new grant-funded program can be difficult for even a seasoned program manager. Join the National Organization of State Offices Rural Health (the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy designated technical assistance provider) to learn how to ensure your work on Vaccine Confidence grant efforts can be managed in order to meet all requirements and have a meaningful impact in your community. This webinar will be presented with a practical look at how you can be successful in a hectic environment.
At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will understand how to:
August 18, 2021
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