Webinar: Financial Preparedness in the Midst of a Crisis

Financial Preparedness in the Midst of a Crisis: Finance Office Hours for Health Centers: Strategies to Manage Operations during COVID-19

Date: May 15, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM Central

Additional Information

Online: Go to the following event address: https://nachc.webex.com/nachc/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec651f0b8c4e9b2b46b05df64779e448e

Enter the Event Password:  FinOfficeHours5

Click “Join Now”.

Audio: To connect to the audio portion, please choose to listen through your computer OR through the phone.

  • Computer: Click on the computer option under the QuickStart Tab and it should automatically connect. If you encounter issues with your computer audio, you can dial in on a phone.
  • Telephone:
    • Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-866-469-3239
    • Event Number: 215 026 626

 

Webinar: Technical Assistance for Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (ECT) Supplemental Funding for Health Centers

Date: May 21, 2020

Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Central

Join the webcast the day of the session
Call-in: 800-857-9804
Passcode: 2207925

HHS awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight U.S. territories to expand COVID-19 testing. HHS Secretary Alex Azar and HRSA Administrator Tom Engels thanked health centers for all they’re doing during the pandemic and announced the funding during last Thursday’s Flattening the Curve call, hosted by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), a HRSA-funded National Cooperative Agreement (NCA). Visit NACHC’s website for the meeting recording and transcript.

 

CMS News Alert

May 11, 2020

As part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts taken in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), following is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions. To keep up with the important Task Force work being done in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website.   CMS updates these resources on an ongoing basis throughout the day; the information below is current as of May 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

CMS Releases Additional Waivers for Hospitals and Other Facilities

CMS continues to release waivers for the healthcare community that provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS recently provided additional blanket waivers for the duration of the PHE that:

  • Expand hospitals’ ability to offer long-term care services (“swing beds”);
  • Waive distance requirements, market share, and bed requirements for Sole Community Hospitals;
  • Waive certain eligibility requirements for Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospitals (MDHs); and
  • Update specific life safety code requirements for hospitals, hospice, and long-term care facilities.

Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers

Telehealth Video: Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services

CMS updated a video that answers common questions about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit during the COVID-19 public health emergency. New information includes how CMS adds services to the list of telehealth services, additional practitioners that can provide telehealth services, and the distant site services that Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can provide. Further, the video includes information about audio-only telehealth services, telehealth services that hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies can provide, along with how to correctly bill for telehealth services.

Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

CMS published information for pharmacies and other suppliers that wish to enroll in Medicare temporarily as independent clinical diagnostic laboratories to help address the need for COVID-19 testing. Interested pharmacies and suppliers will need to apply for a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate. CMS wants to ensure that laboratories located in the United States applying for a CLIA certificate are able to begin testing for COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

MLN Matters Article

CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved over 175 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alabama, Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19 through a wide variety of waivers, amendments, and Medicaid state plan flexibilities, including support for programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities. CMS developed a toolkit to expedite the application and review of each request and has approved these requests in record time. These approved flexibilities support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.

Section 1135 Waivers

Section 1115(a) Waivers

1915(c) Waiver Appendix K Amendments

Medicaid State Plan Amendments

CHIP State Plan Amendments

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Contact: CMS Media Relations
CMS Media Inquiries

Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter CMS Administrator @SeemaCMS and @CMSgov

Referral of Separated Immigrant Families to Health Centers for Mental Health Assessments and Treatment

HHS has entered into a federal contract with Seneca Family of Agencies to implement a district court’s preliminary injunction that requires the United States to provide mental health services to migrant parents separated at the U.S.-Mexico border who are members of the class action in Ms. JP., et al., v. BARR, et al., No. 18-cv-06081-JAK (C.D.Cal.). Consistent with its mission to enhance and protect mental health, HHS is committed to complying with the court’s preliminary injunction and ensuring that the services the court has ordered are delivered in an effective, efficient, and professional manner.

As part of this effort, the Department has requested the non-profit organization Seneca to refer reunified, immigrant families to HRSA-supported health centers as capacity exists for an initial mental health assessment and mental health treatment if indicated.

Under the federal contract, Seneca will locate class members within the U. S., notify them of the availability of mental health services, and determine their interest in seeking these services. Seneca will refer those class members and their separated children to no or low-cost mental health providers who receive federal grant funding from, or are supported or designated by, SAMHSA or HRSA.

To facilitate a smooth referral process, the Department issues this bulletin to inform the health centers of this contract, so that they could accommodate the referrals, as capacity exists. If any of the health centers charges a copay or fee for assessment or treatment, Seneca will cover the fee and seek reimbursement from the Department to ensure each eligible and interested family receives services in a timely manner.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Jean-Michel Voltaire, Esq., from the HHS Office of the General Counsel at jean-michel.voltaire@hhs.gov or 202-819-2165.

Webinar: Growing Challenges of Substance Use, Treatment & Recovery During COVID-19

Date: May 18, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Central

Register Here

Featuring

  • Carlos Blanco
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Gary Mendell
    Shatterproof
  • Herbert H. Price III
    Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
While opioids continue to dominate headlines about drug overdose deaths in the US, fatal overdoses from cocaine and methamphetamines are also on the rise. People with substance use disorder (SUD) are at particular risk during COVID-19 due to the effects of opioids and stimulants on respiratory health, and social distancing measures have created barriers to treatment. The agitated behavior of people using stimulants also places added burden on first responders already overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis.

This webinar will highlight efforts to address the growing rate of substance use in this country and outline strategies to mitigate the increased burden on individuals, society and the health care system in the time of COVID-19. Speakers will discuss:

  • Evidence-based treatment for stimulant abuse, including access to cognitive-behavioral therapy to improve outcomes in individuals with addictive disorders
  • Emerging efforts to reduce shame and stigma and better direct individuals to appropriate care
  • Strategies to increase access to OUD and SUD treatment during COVID-19, including telehealth and virtual recovery support

A draft agenda is available on our website.

Register now for our Friday webinar with the Alliance for Health Policy and Commonwealth Fund on nursing home care, as well as our Monday webinar on food insecurity.

CMS News Alert

May 6, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) building on the agency’s efforts to give the American healthcare system maximum flexibility to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Below is a summary of resources and information available on the rule. View the full rule here.

For more information on the White House Task Force response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.gov. Additional information specific to CMS is available at the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website.

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

The IFC outlines actions CMS is taking to ensure states and localities have the flexibilities they need to ramp up diagnostic testing and access to medical care, key precursors to ensuring a phased, safe, and gradual reopening of America. Read the press release and fact sheet for more details.

Fact Sheets

CMS has updated multiple fact sheets that summarize changes made through regulatory actions in response to COVID-19. View more resources available on CMS waivers and flexibilities here.

A full list of emergency declaration blanket waivers for health care providers implemented to date is available here. Additional fact sheets include:

Laboratory and Testing and Resources

CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s clinical laboratories can respond to the threat of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses to ensure patient health and safety.

CMS Hospitals without Walls Initiative

CMS is allowing healthcare systems and hospitals to provide services in locations beyond their existing walls to help address the urgent need to expand care capacity and to develop sites dedicated to COVID-19 treatment.

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Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter CMS Administrator @SeemaCMS, @CMSgov, and @CMSgovPress.

CMS New Alert

May 7, 2020

Here is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions taken in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website. CMS updates these resources on an ongoing basis throughout the day; the information below is current as of May 7, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET.

New Guidance Available on Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are now required to report the first week of COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning May 8 but no later than May 17. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data directly to the CDC through its reporting tool. This reporting requirement is the first action of its kind in the agency’s history. On April 19, CMS announced the agency would be requiring facilities to report COVID-19 information to the CDC and to families. Within three weeks of that announcement, on April 30, CMS issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period with the new regulatory requirements. As nursing homes report this data to the CDC, we will be taking swift action and publicly posting this information so all Americans have access to accurate and timely information on COVID-19 in nursing homes.

CMS has a longstanding requirement for nursing homes to report cases of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, to the appropriate state or local health department. This new requirement not only helps health departments intervene when needed, but serves to provide awareness to the public (e.g., families), and surveillance for public health agencies and the CDC. The importance of ongoing transparency and information sharing has proven to be one of the keys to the battle against this pandemic. Building upon the successes of the Trump Administration prior to COVID-19, CMS has strongly supported transparency, such as the work done over the past several years to improve public access and understanding of nursing home inspection reports and expand the information available to consumers on Nursing Home Compare. The agency remains committed to greater transparency, and plans to publicly release new data by the end of May. CMS will never stop working to give patients, residents, and families the clearest and most accurate information possible.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

CMS Releases Additional Medicaid & CHIP COVID-19 FAQs for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies
CMS released additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The new FAQs cover a variety of Medicaid and CHIP topics, including
emergency preparedness and response, benefit, financing, eligibility and enrollment flexibilities,
information technology, and data reporting. CMS is committed to providing our state partners
the resources they need during this public health emergency.

New Frequently Asked Questions
Comprehensive Medicaid COVID-19 FAQs

CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
CMS has approved over 155 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
including recent approvals for Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, Maryland, New
Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington. These approvals
help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19 through a wide variety
of waivers, amendments, and Medicaid state plan flexibilities, including support for programs
that care for the elderly and people with disabilities. CMS developed a toolkit to expedite the
application and review of each request and has approved these requests in record time. These
approved flexibilities support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is
locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.

Section 1135 Waivers

Section 1115(a) Waivers

1915(c) Waiver Appendix K Amendments

Medicaid State Plan Amendments

CHIP State Plan Amendments

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Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter CMS Administrator @SeemaCMS, @CMSgov, and @CMSgovPress.

CMS Kansas City COVID-19 NEW Regulatory Waivers and Rule Changes

May 5, 2020

Good morning,

First, let me thank all of you for your continued work to serve Medicare, Medicaid, and Marketplace beneficiaries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know that many of you have made personal and professional sacrifices in addressing this public health emergency and we appreciate all that you do.

As many of you are aware, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been hosting regular calls with providers and stakeholders during which time we’ve heard many suggestions for additional flexibilities that would be of value.  We’ve also looked for patterns in the individual waiver requests and inquiries to the COVID-19 mailbox that we’ve received.

On Friday, May 1, 2020 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’ efforts to further expand beneficiaries’ access to telehealth services. I want to make sure you are aware of these waivers and the interim final rule (IFR) and to make sure you are aware of our availability to meet by webinar or audio conference to discuss these updates. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please respond to Lorelei Schieferdecker at lorelei.schieferdecker@cms.hhs.gov with an expression of interest or complete our Speaker Request form.

To see the press release please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-issues-second-round-sweeping-changes-support-us-healthcare-system-during-covid.

For more information on the COVID-19 waivers and guidance, and the Interim Final Rule, please go to the CMS COVID-19 flexibilities webpage: https://www.cms.gov/about-cms/emergency-preparedness-response-operations/current-emergencies/coronavirus-waivers.

Finally, I would encourage you and your members to attend the CMS Office Hours where you can get answers to your highly technical questions. To be notified of future calls, you can subscribe to the CMS email listserv at  Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to create an account. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.

You can access the recordings and transcripts at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts. This page holds all Partner Relations Group Podcasts, transcripts and audio recordings. CMS makes Open Door Forums and other presentations available as audio podcasts. The Podcasts are available, free of charge. If using Chrome as your browser, please be sure to refresh the page to see all the recordings and transcripts.

 As always, we are available in CMS Kansas City to meet with you, our critical stakeholders, for discussion, for sharing of best practices, and/or to hear from you how we can serve you better.  

 Respectfully,

 Catherine Rippey

Acting Regional Administrator

CMS Kansas City