MARCH 26, 2020

The emergence of COVID-19 has caused an almost unprecedented amount of change in the framework surrounding rural care. The CORH team is dedicated to providing regular updates on this evolving situation to healthcare leaders across the country.

As the pandemic unfolds, we foresee sending out updates twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays with new developments.

As of 3/26/2020, the CDC’s Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19: 54,453

See a city-by-city map of confirmed cases:

Seven more states granted Section 1135 Medicaid waivers.

AMA releases guides to aide reporting during pandemic

  • Multi-scenario guide to define payment coding during crisis. Scenarios include:
    • Patient comes to office for E/M visit about COVID-19 and is directed to a testing site
    • Patient comes to office for E/M visit, is tested for COVID-19 during the visit
    • Patient received telehealth visit re: COVID-19, and is directed to come to physician office or physician’s group practice site for testing
    • Patient with COVID-19 receives virtual check-in OR on-line visits via patient portal/e-mail (not related to E/M visit) OR telephone call from qualified nonphysician (those who may not report E/M)
    • More scenarios included in the guides found here.
  • Guide on navigating CMS/HHS pandemic regulatory and policy flexibility
  • Resource Center for Physicians

COVID-19 continues to worsen around the country; large cities experiencing exponential growth suburban and rural areas expected to follow

CMS announces results of review on hardest hit nursing home

Johns Hopkins researchers develop recommendations for prevent COVID-19 spread in nursing homes

  • Researchers recommend:
    • Restriction of visitors per federal guidelines;
    • Integration medical reserve corps or other trained volunteers;
    • Reduction internal activities;
    • Regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and equipment;
    • Personal protective equipment mandates and inspections.
  • Read full recommendations:

CDC Clinician Outreach and Community Activity series focuses on equipping providers with tools to combat COVID-19

HHS announces grants to provide meals to the elderly

Many hospitals turning to remote monitoring tools to combat COVID-19 overcrowding

Researchers at University of North Carolina point to rural hospitals’ bed underutilization to provide surge capacity during crisis

CMS, Administration pull back on Medicaid eligibility requirements