CMS Updates

Trump Administration Launches New Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges

CMS and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting COVID-19 in their communities. Developed by the Healthcare Resilience Task Force as part of the unified government’s response to COVID-19, the toolkit includes a full suite of available …

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CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS issued critical guidance allowing licensed, independent freestanding emergency departments (IFEDs) in Colorado, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Texas to temporarily provide care to Medicare and Medicaid patients to address any surge resulting from COVID-19. This action by the Trump Administration increases hospital capacity to ensure these states can quickly and effectively care for their most …

CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Read More »

Educational Webinar: Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation

Hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation Date/Time: Thursday, April 30, 2020, 12:00pm–1:30 pm EDT This webinar will offer strategies for supporting caregivers and their loved ones, up-to-date information on facilitating access to health and social …

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COVID-19 Update: Additional Blanket Waivers

CMS continues to release additional blanket waivers to the healthcare community in order to provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during this public health emergency. Today, CMS is providing additional blanket waivers related to care for patients in Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), temporary expansion locations of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally …

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CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues new recommendations specifically targeted to communities that are in Phase 1 of the Guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. The recommendations update earlier guidance provided by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and …

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Trump Administration Announces New Nursing Homes COVID-19 Transparency Effort

Agencies partner with nursing homes to keep nursing home residents safe Today, under the leadership of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new regulatory requirements that will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition, as part of President Trump’s …

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Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions Newsletter — April 2020

Upcoming webinar: COVID-19 in Indian CountryWednesday, April 22Long-Term Services and SupportsSOLUTIONSTechnical assistance for culturally competent care LTSS Technical Assistance CenterVisit the online LTSS TA Center for videos, best practices, toolkits, a resource library, and a step-by-step planning roadmap. COVID-19 and LTSS in Indian CountryBelow are tips for long-term services and supports (LTSS) facilities and home-based …

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CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved 52 COVID- related emergency waivers, 31 state amendments, 11 COVID-related Medicaid Disaster Amendments and one CHIP COVID-related Disaster Amendment in record time. States are using a toolkit CMS developed to expedite the application and approval of Medicaid state waivers and State Plan Amendments. CMS recently approved two additional COVID-related emergency Medicaid waivers, …

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CMS Implements CARES Act Hospital Payment and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Waivers

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act increases payment for Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) inpatient hospital care attributable to COVID-19. CMS provided guidance for IPPS hospitals and LTCHs on how to code claims to receive the higher payment. The CARES Act also waives the requirement that Medicare …

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CMS Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

On behalf of CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, we invite you to join CMS Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 on Friday, April 17th from 12:30 – 2 PM EST. This call series is an opportunity to hear physicians and other clinical leaders share …

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Today! Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Enrollment Tutorial

Join the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) for an Enrollment Tutorial Webinar Join CMMI on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 1pm Eastern time for an Enrollment Tutorial Webinar. The CMMI team will be on hand to answer your questions related to the Enrollment Process.  Webinar Details Access the webinar: At the time of the event, click …

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CMS Increases Medicare Payment for High-Production Coronavirus Lab Tests

CMS helps expand testing capacity and monitoring for COVID-19 in nursing homes and other settings with high volume testing needs The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced Medicare will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This …

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Webinar: Primary Care’s Role in Responding to COVID-19

When: Wed, Apr 15, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT Learn more about the coronavirus outbreak, its impact on practices and patients, and how primary care is responding. This discussion with primary care leaders will address issues spanning primary care capacity, virtual visits, and community-based approaches to care in the midst of COVID-19. Attendees …

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CMS Conference Call @ 3:00, Tuesday, April 14

Please join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a call on COVID-19 with Home Health and Hospice Organizations today,, Tuesday, April 14th at 3:00 PM EST. CMS leadership will provide updates on the agency’s latest guidance and we will be joined by leaders in the field interested in sharing best practices with …

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COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facility (LTC) Transfer Scenarios

CMS is providing supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and/or nursing facilities based on COVID-19 status (i.e., positive, negative, unknown/under observation). In general, if two or more certified LTC facilities want to transfer or discharge residents between themselves for the purposes of cohorting, they do not need any additional …

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CMS Office Hours on COVID-19 – April 14

CMS is hosting “Office Hours” on COVID-19, Tuesday, April 14th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM EST, the next in a series of opportunities for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to: * Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals Without …

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CMS Issues Fiscal Year 2021 Proposed Medicare Payment and Policy Changes

Fiscal Year 2021 Hospice Payment Rate Update Proposed Rule (CMS-1733-P) Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1733-P) that would update fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. This rule provides model examples of the hospice election statement and the …

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Expanded Coverage for Essential Diagnostic Services Amid COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, have issued guidance to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost. As part of the effort to slow the …

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Administration Acts to Ensure U.S. Healthcare Facilities Can Maximize Frontline Workforces to Confront COVID-19 Crisis

At President Trump’s direction, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today temporarily suspended a number of rules so that hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can boost their frontline medical staffs as they fight to save lives during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These changes affect doctors, nurses, and other clinicians nationwide, …

Administration Acts to Ensure U.S. Healthcare Facilities Can Maximize Frontline Workforces to Confront COVID-19 Crisis Read More »

CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS continues to deliver urgent regulatory relief to ensure states can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. For the first time, CMS has approved a COVID-related Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Disaster Amendment that brings relief for CHIP-covered children living in Maine. In addition, CMS approved COVID-related Medicaid …

CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic Read More »

CMS Office Hours on COVID-19: April 9th

You are invited to CMS “Office Hours” on COVID-19, Thursday, April 9th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM EST, the next in a series of opportunities for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to: Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals …

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Helping families cope with COVID-19 outbreaks

The worldwide spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought unprecedented challenges. Given the resulting disruptions to daily life, helping children cope with stress can be especially difficult. Implementation of social distancing strategies to prevent illness increases families’ stress levels even further. In an effort to protect the mental health of children and their caregivers, …

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CMS Issues New Wave of Infection Control Guidance Based on CDC Guidelines to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

Guidance will aid clinicians in various healthcare settings to prevent and mitigate the spread Under the leadership of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a series of updated guidance documents focused on infection control to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a variety of inpatient …

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CMS Approves Over $51 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has delivered near $34 billion in the past week to the healthcare providers on the frontlines battling the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The funds have been provided through the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to …

CMS Approves Over $51 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week Read More »

CMS Hospital Without Walls during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS invites you to a Special Open Door Forum: CMS Hospital Without Walls during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.   This Special Open Door Forum is open to everyone, if you are a member of the Press, you may listen in but please refrain from asking questions during the Q & A portion of the call. …

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CMS COVID-19 Call with Nursing Homes

Please join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a call on COVID-19 with Nursing Homes tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8th at 4:30 PM EST. CMS leadership will provide updates on the agency’s latest guidance and we will be joined by leaders in the field interested in sharing best practices with their peers. The …

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COVID-19 Dear Clinician Letter and Updated Elective Surgery Recommendations

Dear Clinician Letter CMS posted a letter to clinicians that outlines a summary of actions CMS has taken to ensure clinicians have maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care during the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. The summary includes information about telehealth and virtual visits, accelerated and advanced payments, and recent waiver information. …

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Special Open Door Forum Addressing Telehealth in Medicare During COVID-19

CMS invites you to a Special Open Door Forum addressing CMS’ actions to increase access to Telehealth in Medicare during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.   This Special Open Door Forum is open to everyone, if you are a member of the Press, you may listen in but please refrain from asking questions during the Q & …

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COVID-19 Update Call Today

Please join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a Medicare Learning Network event to hear about updates on recent CMS actions taken to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. When: Today, Tuesday, April 7 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EDT Registration: Closes at 12:00 pm EDT. Register here Target Audience: All Medicare fee-for-service …

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CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Today

“You are invited to CMS “Office Hours” on COVID-19, Tuesday, April 7th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM EST, the first in a series of opportunities for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to: Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals …

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CMS Updates: New Telehealth Video and ASC Guidance

New Video Available on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services CMS released a video providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. Guidance for Processing Attestations from …

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COVID-19: Telehealth Billing Correction, Nursing Home Recommendations, Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators, New ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code

SPECIAL EDITION – Friday, April 3, 2020 News Billing for Professional Telehealth Distant Site Services During the Public Health Emergency — Revised Trump Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators (HCPCS Code E0467) under the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Otherwise New ICD-10-CM diagnosis code, U07.1, for …

COVID-19: Telehealth Billing Correction, Nursing Home Recommendations, Billing for Multi-Function Ventilators, New ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Read More »

2021 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement

Fact Sheet  Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Rate Announcement, finalizing Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D payment methodologies for CY 2021. This Rate Announcement addresses comments received on Parts I and II of the CY 2021 Advance Notice, published on January 6 and February 5, …

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Trump Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments

On April 3, at the direction of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued critical recommendations to state and local governments, as well as nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes. …

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COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls Recordings Available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been hosting regular calls with a variety of clinicians, hospitals, other facilities, and states in an effort to keep stakeholders updated on our COVID-19 efforts.  As we know not everyone is available to attend the calls live, we are happy to share that you can access …

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Trump Administration Makes Sweeping Regulatory Changes to Help U.S. Healthcare System Address COVID-19 Patient Surge

March 30, 2020 – At President Trump’s direction, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Made possible by President Trump’s recent emergency declaration and …

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Trump Administration Engages America’s Hospitals in Unprecedented Data Sharing

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to the nation’s hospitals on behalf of Vice President Pence requesting they report data in connection with their efforts to fight the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, the Trump Administration is requesting that hospitals report COVID-19 testing data to the U.S. Department of …

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Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Laboratory Guidance During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS is issuing this memorandum to laboratory surveyors to provide important guidance to surveyors and laboratories during the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as: CMS’ Exercise of enforcement discretion to ensure pathologists may review pathology slides remotely if certain defined conditions are met Ensuring that laboratories located in the United States wishing to perform COVID-19testing …

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CMS Announces Findings at Kirkland Nursing Home and New Targeted Plan for Healthcare Facility Inspections in light of COVID-19

March 23 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the preliminary results of a recent inspection of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington – the epicenter of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in that state. The inspection, which the Agency conducted with the Washington Department of Social & …

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Prioritization of Survey Activities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s health care facilities are prepared to respond to the threat of disease caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). On Friday, March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency, which triggers the Secretary’s ability to authorize waivers …

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COVID-19 Checklists and Tools to Accelerate Relief for State Medicaid & CHIP Programs

New tools to help speed states’ access to emergency flexibilities and resources Today, the Trump Administration released new tools to strip away regulatory red tape and unleash new resources to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Because of the President’s bold action in declaring COVID-19 …

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CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19 Mar 22, 2020 Data Hospitals Quality

March 22 – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced unprecedented relief for the clinicians, providers, and facilities participating in Medicare quality reporting programs including the 1.2 million clinicians in the Quality Payment Program and on the front lines of America’s fight against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS announced it is …

CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19 Mar 22, 2020 Data Hospitals Quality Read More »

CMS Releases Telehealth Toolkits

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released two comprehensive toolkits on telehealth–one specific to general practitioners, and one for providers treating patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Each toolkit contains links to help providers learn about the general concept of telehealth, choose telemedicine vendors, initiate a telemedicine program, monitor patients remotely, and …

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Updated FAQs for State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Agencies

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting an update to its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Medicaid.gov website to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. CMS is taking this action to continue its efforts to protect the …

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CMS Releases Recommendations on Adult Elective Surgeries, Non-Essential Medical, Surgical, and Dental Procedures During COVID-19 Response

Earlier today at the White House Task Force Press Briefing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As more healthcare providers are increasingly being asked to assist with the COVID-19 response, it is critical …

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CMS issues important waivers, exercising regulatory flexibility to combat COVID-19

The Trump Administration is taking aggressive actions and exercising regulatory flexibilities to help healthcare providers contain the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). CMS is empowered to take proactive steps through 1135 waivers as well as, where applicable, authority granted under section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and rapidly expand the …

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COVID-19 Partner Toolkit

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. CMS has developed this toolkit to help you stay informed on CMS and HHS materials available on the COVID-19. Please share these materials, …

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FAQs on Essential Health Benefit Coverage and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Coverage in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  This action is part of the broader, ongoing effort by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at …

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Nursing Home Visitor Guidance

As part of the broader Trump Administration announcement today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced critical new measures designed to keep America’s nursing home residents safe from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The measures take the form of a memorandum and is based on the newest recommendations from the Centers for Disease …

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Updated Guidance for Nursing Homes

CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s health care facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the COVID-19. CMS is providing additional guidance to nursing homes to help them improve their infection control and prevention practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, including revised guidance for visitation. …

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CMS Sends More Guidance to Providers

CMS took action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This includes clear, actionable information on the screening, treatment, and transfer procedures to follow when interacting with patients.

Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) COVID-19 Test Pricing

On March 5 and February 13, CMS announced new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes for healthcare providers and laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. Starting in April, laboratories performing the test can bill Medicare and other health insurers for services that occurred after February 4, 2020, using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001). …

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CMS Takes Action Nationwide to Aggressively Respond to Coronavirus National Emergency

The Trump Administration today announced aggressive actions and regulatory flexibilities to help healthcare providers and states respond to and contain the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking these actions following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19 earlier today.

Guidance for Home Health Agencies

CMS is committed to protecting American patients and residents by ensuring health care facilities have up-to-date information to adequately respond to COVID-19 concerns. Coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health departments, we encourage all Home Health Agencies to monitor the CDC website for information and resources and contact …

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COVID-19 Response News Alert: CMS Issues Frequently Asked Questions to Assist Medicare Providers

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) for healthcare providers regarding Medicare payment for laboratory tests and other services related to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The agency is receiving questions from providers and created this document to be transparent and share answers to some of the …

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