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Policy Snapshot
June 18, 2020

Reps. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) and Lou Correa (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 7059, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, to grant targeted, limited liability protections to pandemic responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

The bill has already attracted several bipartisan cosponsors, but there's still much more work that needs to be done. Ask your member of Congress to sign on to this critical bill and urge your senators to incorporate similar language into their coronavirus relief legislation.

Passage of the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, a bill with...

Policy Snapshot
June 18, 2020

Physicians and non-physician practitioners (NPPs): Here are several reminders from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) related to billing for COVID-19 symptom and exposure assessment and specimen collection performed on and after March 1, 2020:

  • Use CPT code 99211 to bill for assessment and collection provided by clinical staff (such as pharmacists) incident to your services unless you are reporting another Evaluation and Management (E/M) code for concurrent services. This applies to all patients, not just established patients.
  • Submit the CS
  • ...
Policy Snapshot
June 18, 2020

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and a bipartisan group of 29 senators sent a letter to the administration on June 15 calling to make permanent telehealth waivers and flexibilities that are currently implemented for the duration of the public health emergency.

On May 29, the president signed the Executive Order for Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery (EO 13924) directing the agencies to evaluate waivers and flexibilities offered during the public health emergency that, if made permanent, would provide additional economic support and help the nation recover after the pandemic. As...

Policy Snapshot
June 18, 2020

The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Annual Call for Measures and Activities process allows clinicians; professional associations; and medical societies that represent clinicians, researchers, consumer groups, and others to identify and submit measures and activities. Guidance and forms to submit new measures are available in the 2020 Call for Measures and Activities Toolkit.

Quality – deadline June 30

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid...

Policy Snapshot
June 12, 2020

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported to HHS by laboratories along with COVID-19 test results. The guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision-making in their response to COVID-19. As the country begins to reopen, access to clear and accurate data is essential to communities and leadership for making decisions critical to a phased reopening. See the ...

Policy Snapshot
June 5, 2020

On June 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled enhanced enforcement for nursing homes with violations of long-standing infection control practices. This announcement builds on the previous actions CMS has taken as the nation battles COVID-19. CMS is posting the first set of underlying COVID-19 nursing home data on nursing home compare.

On April 19, 2020, CMS announced the requirement that nursing homes inform residents, their families, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition to this, nursing homes are required to...

Policy Snapshot
June 5, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidelines on serology (antibody) testing, bringing them in line with the AMA's recently issued guidelines. For the past several weeks, the AMA has been in touch with various arms of the administration, including the CDC, to discuss and...

Policy Snapshot
May 28, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing it has begun distributing billions in additional relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to help them combat the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing homes play a pivotal role in providing skilled care to our nation’s vulnerable seniors. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high-risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. This funding, which supplements previously announced ...

Policy Snapshot
May 28, 2020

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would reallocate visas previously authorized by Congress that have not currently been used. Of these, 15,000 visas would be reallocated for foreign-born physicians and 25,000 visas for foreign-born nurses. While meeting the demands posed by the current public health crisis, the legislation would ensure durable immigration status for this vital workforce.

These visas would be drawn from a pool that Congress had previously authorized but that have since gone unused. Country caps would not apply to these visas and they would be issued in order...

Policy Snapshot
May 21, 2020

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance for state and local officials to ensure the safe reopening of nursing homes across the country. The recommendations would allow states to make sure nursing homes are continuing to take the appropriate and necessary steps to ensure resident safety and are opening their doors when the time is right. This also serves to help states and nursing homes reunite families with their loved ones in a safe, phased manner.

CMS...