COVID-19

CMS Nursing Home Podcast Series for Front Line Clinicians and Staff

CMS Beyond the Policy: Nursing Home Series for Frontline Clinicians and Staff The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is airing the first episode in a series of short podcasts for frontline nursing home staff. The series is designed to reinforce training and infection control practices in nursing homes to help combat the spread …

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CMS Urging Nursing Homes to Follow Established COVID-19 Guidelines This Holiday Season

CMS Memo | November 19, 2020 – Today, in advance of the approaching holiday season, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents, and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. These guidelines include: Remaining six feet apart from individuals …

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2020 NIH Rural Health Seminar on Nov. 19

Rural Health Challenges in the Era of COVID-19 November 19, 1-5PM EDT Presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this seminar explores the impact of COVID-19 on rural populations, systems and workforce issues, and community engagement to respond to the pandemic.  Attendees MUST register prior to the presentation.

Making Community Connections: Supporting Safe Transitions During COVID-19

December 9, 11-11:45 AM EDT Partnerships are critical to ensure a patient’s safe transition of care—especially during a public health emergency. Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, an adequate PPE supply and access to testing are essential but not always enough. Equally important are our partnerships with providers of healthcare in our community. This virus …

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CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Data with Urgent Call to Action

Agency thanks nursing homes whose staff have completed free CMS training, but urges remaining homes to take advantage of this resource CMS Memo | November 18, 2020 – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publicly recognizing the 1,092 nursing homes at which 50% or more of their staff have completed CMS …

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New infection control and PPE resources for home and congregate care workers

Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety released a new video and suite of resources about infection control and PPE for home care and congregate care workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Stay Safe! Your Guide to Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Brazilian Portuguese. We know that …

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Rapid eMOLST Implementation to Facilitate Advance Care Planning During COVID-19 Pandemic

The article Rapid Implementation of eMOLST Order Completion and Electronic Registry to Facilitate Advance Care Planning: MOLST Documentation Using Telehealth in the Covid-19 Pandemic was posted on the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst on Tuesday November 3. The article discusses seven lessons learned during the rapid implementation of eMOLST at Mount Sinai Health System …

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Understanding the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. The program facilitates safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and jurisdictional health departments.   LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 …

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COVID-19 Vaccine Codes and PC-ACE Software Update

In anticipation of the availability of a vaccine(s), for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the American Medical Association (AMA), working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), created new codes for the vaccine and the administration of the vaccine.  To prepare for the vaccine administration claims, …

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CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Coverage Available at No Cost to Beneficiaries Across Variety of Settings in Health Care System The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that starting November 13, Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). CMS’ coverage of monoclonal antibody …

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COVID-19 Workshop on November 12: Building Patient Trust

Thursday, November 12, 10:30-11AM EDT During this conversation, we will discuss a three-pronged approach that organizations can adopt to build patient trust and rise to the challenges of health care consumerism as redefined by COVID-19. Join us and learn to: Develop an effective and comprehensive data strategy Derive deep insights from robust quantitative and comment …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls for November

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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Resource: NIH COVID-19 Communities Responding Together

Community leaders can play a vital role in connecting their communities with important, accurate information about public health and clinical research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Community Engagement Alliance offers resources that can help organizations talk with their communities about COVID-19, the vaccines being developed, and the importance of minorities being included …

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CMS’ New One-Stop Nursing Home Resource Center Assists Providers, Caregivers, Residents

October 30, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new online platform – the Nursing Home Resource Center – to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents and their families, especially as the …

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Twice Monthly Live Q&A Sessions: CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

November 5, 2020 – January 7, 2021, 4-5PM EDT This live Q&A series is open to clinical and administrative nursing home staff members and others who have completed the self-paced, on-demand CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training hosted on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. These live Q&A Sessions are brought to you …

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October 30: Deadline for Vaccine Program Sign-Up

October 26, 2020 – More than 9,000 long-term care providers had signed up for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program as of this past Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The deadline is midnight ET on this coming Friday. The program, announced Oct. 16 by HHS and the Department of Defense, involves …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – October

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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Free Training: Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness for Fall and Winter 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to help nursing homes prepare for the fall and winter months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed to meet the urgent and ongoing needs of nursing home managers and frontline staff, insights gained during the COVID-19 pandemic have been used to create a series of scenario-based trainings …

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Telehealth Webinar on November 3: Preparing for the New Normal

Tuesday, November 3, 11:30AM – 12:30PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Join Kathy Wibberly, Director of the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center, for a journey into the past, present, and future of telehealth. Together, we will: Review best practices and lessons learned Examine what transpired over the past …

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Pre-Launch Webinars: National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network

As training centers and nursing homes around the country continue to join the Network and prepare to embark on their respective cohorts, we’re offering a series of pre-launch webinars to explore some of the key themes that will later be featured more deeply over the 16-week sessions. These interactive, pre-launch webinars will feature national experts …

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COVID-19 Workshop on October 29: Primary Care During a Crisis

Thursday, October 29, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on alternating Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. The COVID-19 public health crisis had an unprecedented impact on the healthcare system across the country. The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) considers a three-phase approach for practices to best respond to the crisis, meet the needs of their patients, and …

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CMS Webinar: Staffing Challenges & Solutions: Insights from the Frontline

Tuesday, October 20, 2–3PM EDT Please join us for a National Learning and Action Network (LAN) event on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET. A LAN is a group of health care professionals and stakeholder organizations, convened by the QIO Program. The goal of the LAN is to improve patient care and population …

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Join the National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network

Join an interactive community of practice to advance improvements in COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control in nursing homes. Supported by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Project ECHO is virtually bringing together small groups of peers and experts to learn about …

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Resources for Patients, Families, & Caregivers

Improve Health Equity During Hispanic Heritage Month From September 15 – October 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH), along with the IPRO QIN-QIO, honors National Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, CMS OMH is prioritizing health for the nation’s 60 million Hispanics by encouraging annual flu shots and …

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Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

Improve Health Equity During Hispanic Heritage Month This year, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) honors National Hispanic Heritage Month, we hope to focus on prioritizing health for the nation’s 60 million Hispanics by encouraging annual flu shots and sharing resources to help Hispanics take steps toward …

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CMS Call on October 7: Substance Use Disorder Treatment during COVID-19

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder During the Public Health Emergency Wednesday, October 7, 3PM-4PM EDT CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum (ODF) to allow primary care providers, psychosocial support specialists, addiction medicine specialists, and other interested parties to ask questions on CMS’s actions to address the opioids crisis during the public health emergency …

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Register for Free Training on Coronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes

ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network presents a conversation with national experts on coronavirus testing in nursing homes. Coronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes October 1, 2020, 1:30 – 3:00 EDT Looking for more learning opportunities? Join an interactive community of practice to advance improvements in COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control in nursing homes. …

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Telehealth Webinar on October 6: The Impact on Care Transitions

Tuesday, October 6, 1-2PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Materials Recording Slides On October 6, our speakers discussed the impact telehealth has on care transitions. First, Kelly Baxter, DNP, FNP-BC, ACHPN shared how a Palliative Care Telehealth Pilot helped meet a nursing home’s needs. Next, Roger Herr, …

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CMS Announces New Guidance for Safe Visitation in Nursing Homes

September 17, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance providing detailed recommendations on ways nursing homes can safely facilitate visitation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. After several months of visitor restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, CMS recognizes that physical separation from family and other …

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CMS & CDC Trainings & Live Q&A Sessions on COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

Trainings The CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series covers 13 topics that your nursing home staff must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings are housed on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4PM EDT through September 2020. Live Q&A Sessions Live …

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COVID-19 Workshop on October 1: Surgery During the Pandemic

Thursday, October 1, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on alternating Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. Join us on October 1 for a conversation with a person who recently had major brain surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear her perspective on the supportive hospital staff and the transition to follow-up telehealth visits with both her surgeon and …

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Article: Respiratory distress the cause of most post-COVID hospital readmissions

This published article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (August 2020) describes a retrospective cohort study of COVID-19 positive patients who were hospitalized between February 27 and April 12, 2020. The main measures were readmission or return to the emergency department following discharge for COVID-19 infection. Of the 2864 discharged patients, 103 (3.6%) returned …

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Article: Housing Insecurity a Growing Problem

COVID-19 will have an unprecedented impact on homelessness, according to analysis by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University. Dr. O’Flaherty projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness this year compared to January 2019. This equates to nearly 250,000 additional people losing their housing, mostly due to lay-offs resulting from the economic impacts …

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Article: Assessing Telemedicine Unreadiness Among Older Adults in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a rapid and massive shift to telemedicine to help protect patients and providers from infection. A JAMA Internal Medicine research letter asserts that an estimated 38% of older adults in the U.S. are not ready for telemedicine, mainly due to inexperience with technology. These findings are based on a cross-sectional …

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COVID-19 Workshop on Sept. 17: CDC’s Influenza Resources & Infection Surveillance

Thursday, Sept. 17, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on alternating Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. Join us to learn about the most current resources regarding the upcoming Influenza season and infection prevention and surveillance best practices. Materials Presentation Recording Have specific questions? Let us know and we’ll address them in our upcoming webinars. Email us at: …

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COVID-19 and Influenza Season 2020-2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue providing essential services to patients. It is essential to ensure immunization services are maintained or re-initiated. Immunizations help protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks while reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season. Centers for Disease …

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CMS Stakeholder Calls: September 8-24

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. CMS COVID-19 …

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Telehealth Webinar on September 22: A Physician Office’s Transition Experience

Tuesday, September 22, 1-2PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Join us on September 22 as Dr. Chris Campanile and Marisol Carcamo, Office Manager, describe how their office staff modified their practice to accommodate telehealth use and ensure their patients’ needs were met. Materials Recording

CMS Releases Interim Final Rule, Reporting Requirements Updates, and Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions

August 26, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). On August 25, 2020, an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) went on display at the Federal …

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CMS Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices

New training provides education on critical safety measures to keep residents safe August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing an unprecedented national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The training is designed to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with …

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Nursing Home Strategies for COVID-19 Only Isolation of COVID-19 Residents

August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients. Nursing facilities are particularly …

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Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Twice a month on Friday, 12:30–2:00 PM EDT Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their …

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CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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COVID-19 Workshop on August 13: Family Perspectives: Nursing Home Visitation Restrictions & Communication

Thursday, August 13, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. COVID-19 has changed how we interact within nursing homes and how we visit loved ones. Join us as we share strategies for facilities, families, and residents including: Communication strategies used between residents, families, and facilities during the pandemic How communication or lack …

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Telehealth Webinar on August 25: Telehealth Then & Now – A Provider’s Perspective

Tuesday, August 25, 1-2PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Join us to learn the evolution of telehealth technology and how providers are using it during the pandemic. Our speaker will share provider challenges, barriers, lessons learned, and his experience consulting with nursing homes as they navigate telehealth. …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas Read More »

COVID-19: Coverage of Physician Telehealth Services Provided to SNF Residents

The current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not waive any requirements related to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). However, CMS added CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443, to the list of telehealth codes coverable under the waiver during the COVID-19 PHE. These codes designate three different time increments of telephone evaluation and …

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CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls: August 11-14

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

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COVID-19 Workshop on August 6: COVID-19 & Telehealth Advance Care Conversations

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us as Michele Carignan, RN and Courtney Lamothe, MSW, LCSW from Continuum Care of Rhode Island, discuss the importance of advance care conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning Objectives: Recognize the importance and challenges of having …

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OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination During COVID-19

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing guidance to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance understand that they must comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded …

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Telehealth Webinar on August 11: Medicare Billing and Coding for Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 11, 1-2pm EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Learn how to bill Medicare for expanded telehealth services under the CMS 1135 Waiver. The presentation, by Susan Whittaker, CPC, CPMA, Senior Program Coordinator, Healthcentric Advisors will include information on: Medicare telehealth coding and billing based on care setting …

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Telehealth Webinar on July 28: Telehealth 101 & Lay of the Land

Tuesday, July 28, 1-2pm EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series An overview of telehealth, presented by Reid Plimpton, MPH, Program Manager of the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center. Learn about: The Telehealth Resource Center’s mission Strategies for implementation Telehealth modalities, uses, value and costs Associated laws Real-life examples Materials …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – July

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Announces Membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, …

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COVID-19: Nursing Home Testing, SNF Benefit Period Waiver

MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is updated. Learn about: Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing nursing home residents and patients Updated on applying the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit period waiver

HHS Telemedicine Hack

A 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers Wednesdays, July 22—Sept 23, 12-1PM ET Although telemedicine use has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ambulatory providers still lack the knowledge and skills needed to implement video-based telemedicine into their practices. To support wide adoption of telemedicine, the U.S. Department of Health …

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