MAY 6, 2020

HHS to begin disbursements to small rural CAH and PPS hospitals

CMS announces changes to audio-only telehealth visits

Rural coronavirus infection on the rise and expected to continue

CMS announces extensions to increasing hospital capacity – CMS Hospitals Without Walls

  • CMS is giving providers flexibility during the pandemic to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients while receiving stable, predictable Medicare payments. For example, teaching hospitals can increase the number of temporary beds without facing reduced payments for indirect medical education.
  • CMS is excepting certain requirements to enable freestanding inpatient rehabilitation facilities to accept patients from acute-care hospitals experiencing a surge, even if the patients do not require rehabilitation care.
  • CMS will allow certain provider-based hospital outpatient departments that relocate off-campus to obtain a temporary exception and continue to be paid under the OPPS. Importantly, hospitals may also relocate outpatient departments to more than one off-campus location, or partially relocate off-campus while still furnishing care at the original site.
  • Long-term acute-care hospitals can now accept any acute-care hospital patients and be paid at a higher Medicare payment rate, as mandated by the CARES Act. This will make better use during the pandemic of available beds and staffing in long-term acute-care hospitals.

New rules to support and expand COVID-19 diagnostic testing for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries

  • Under the new waivers and rule changes, Medicare will no longer require an order from the treating physician or other practitioner for beneficiaries to get COVID-19 tests and certain laboratory tests required as part of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • COVID-19 tests may be covered when ordered by any healthcare professional authorized to do so under state law.
  • A written practitioner’s order is no longer required for the COVID-19 test for Medicare payment purposes.

CMS clarifies recommendations and policies under Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) related to COVID-19

FDA approves Remdesivir for potential, emergency treatment of COVID-19

The Pennsylvania State University continues ECHO series on COVID-19 topics

FDA orders companies and hospitals to submit COVID-19 testing data