Home Health

Policy Statement: AHA Recognizes Structural Racism as a Driver of Health Disparities

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently issued a policy statement in Circulation calling out structural racism as a major driver of health disparities in the U.S. The AHA acknowledged that while it had previously published statements addressing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk and disparities among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., those statements had not …

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Article: Health Literacy Should Be Valued as a Social Driver of Poor Health Outcomes

Health literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use health information to make decisions about one’s health. People with low health literacy have increased mortality, worse health outcomes, are less engaged in their care, use the emergency room more often, and have higher avoidable healthcare expenditures. In this article, Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD – a …

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Resource: CMS Home and Community-Based Services Toolkit

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new toolkit designed for state Medicaid agencies to strengthen infrastructure and develop robust home and community-based services (HCBS) for eligible beneficiaries. The toolkit highlights promising state models and practices for strengthening state infrastructure to increase transitions from institutional settings to community-based settings; prevent or delay …

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Article: Mobile Apps for mHealth and People with Disabilities

A conference paper presented at the International Conference on Computers Helping People describes data and analysis on the use and unmet needs of mHealth mobile apps by people with disabilities in the U.S. The paper focuses on several key areas related to user experience in order to map the behavior, interests and needs of people …

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New Tool: Mapping Racial and Ethnic Inequities in Health and Opportunity

A new interactive mapping tool, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, allows users to view and compare data on a range of indicators for each state and for six racial and ethnic groups. The tool uses data aggregated by the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative. According to their website, HOPE “provides an …

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Dec. 2 Update: CDC National Quarantine Guidance

Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing CDC Science & Research | December 2, 2020 – Quarantine can be a burden on public health systems and communities, potentially dissuading people from naming contacts. Reducing the length of quarantine will reduce the burden and may increase …

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National Handwashing Awareness Week: December 6-12, 2020

Clean hands save lives! This awareness week highlights the importance of handwashing—one of the most effective and simple ways to prevent viral infections and improve health outcomes. December is a busy time for most people. Between the abrupt changes in weather, holiday gatherings, and the end-of-year rush, it is easy for immune systems to be …

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National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 6-12, 2020

This national awareness week focuses on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. The IPRO QIN-QIO raises awareness about flu risks and encourages everyone to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that during last year’s (2018-19) flu season: 35.5 million people …

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Supporting Healthy Minds for Wisdom Keepers

About 1 in every 3 American Indian/Alaska Native older adults, age 65 or older, is at risk for dementia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart health is closely connected to brain health. Wisdom Keeper Campaign To raise awareness about dementia and encourage elders to keep their minds and hearts healthy, the …

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HHS/ASPR Training to Help Older Adults During a Disaster

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) developed the Addressing the Needs of Older Adults in Disasters web-based training. HHS/ASPR designed this free, publicly accessible course to improve public health and emergency medical responders’ capability to address the access and functional needs of community-dwelling older …

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CMS Comprehensive Strategy: Enhance Hospital Capacity Amid COVID-19 Surge

Agency outlines flexibilities to maximize Acute Hospital Care at Home, Ambulatory Surgical Centers to decompress hospitals treating COVID-19 patients CMS Memo | November 25, 2020 – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined unprecedented comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside …

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Earn Free CE: CDC’s Online Antibiotic Stewardship Training

This U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, register for CDC’s FREE online antibiotic stewardship training course, which offers 10 hours of continuing education (CE) to help you improve antibiotic use and protect patients. The first module is now updated with the latest national antibiotic resistance data from CDC’s recently released report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United …

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CMS to Celebrate the Power of Rural

Rural communities face their own unique challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving quality health care. Approximately 60 million Americans live in rural areas, with nearly every state having at least one rural county. Research has shown that rural Americans are disproportionately affected by certain health conditions compared to their urban counterparts due to factors …

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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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CMS Will Retire the Original Compare Tools on December 1

CMS will retire the original Compare Tools on December 1. Use Medicare.gov’s Care Compare to find and compare health care providers. In early September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Care Compare on Medicare.gov, which streamlines our eight original health care compare tools.  Since then, you’ve had the opportunity to use and …

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U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: November 18-24, 2020

This annual observance highlights necessary steps everyone should take to improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Antibiotics save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. In U.S. doctors’ offices and emergency departments, at least 47 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic …

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Know the connection between Diabetes and Kidney Disease

34 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 3 of them also has chronic kidney disease. Once your kidneys have been damaged by diabetes, they cannot be cured. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day, making now the perfect time to learn how you can prevent diabetic kidney disease or …

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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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Take Action Against Diabetes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Diabetes Month in November. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes occurs because …

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National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month, celebrated each November, is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. In November, the IPRO QIN-QIO is celebrating the efforts of family caregivers, supporting stronger relationships with loved ones, and raising awareness of the role that family caregivers play in the care of aging relatives and those …

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Article: Receipt of Home-Based Care Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries

A research article in HealthAffairs (August 2020) states that there is untapped potential to expand home-based medical care to homebound and non-homebound seniors, which can lower cost of care and improve clinical outcomes. Estimates suggest there are about two million homebound seniors in the U.S. and about five million seniors who can only leave home …

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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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National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. This national observance is dedicated to helping those with a mental or substance use disorder to live a healthy life through education. Supports like substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental or substance use disorder to live a rewarding life. The IPRO QIN-QIO is …

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CMS Webinar on August 24: Medicare Care Compare

August 24, 2-2:45PM EDT Requires Login. You’ll get an email and appointment after registration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making improvements to help people with Medicare find information about health care providers and services, as part of the eMedicare initiative to modernize and personalize your experiences with Medicare information. Care Compare …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls: August 21-27

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. Lessons from …

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health is honoring National Immunization Awareness Month. Although vaccination rates are low among all adults in the U.S., research shows that racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including …

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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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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 »

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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Resources: Bringing Attention to Health Equity for People with Disabilities

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) is sharing messages and materials on supporting equal opportunities and inclusion for people with disabilities, many of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. On July 26, 1990 the ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination against …

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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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Home Health QRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available

The Home Health COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is now available. This tip sheet is designed to assist Home Health providers in understanding the status of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program (QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Also provided is practical guidance to address Home Health quality data submission requirements starting July 1, …

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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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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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CDC COVID-19 Webinar on July 29: Promising Practices in Health Equity

July 29, 2020 @ 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET Please join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for another webinar focused on sharing promising public health practices to reduce COVID-19 related disparities. During this webinar, presenters will discuss actions taken to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, …

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CMS Call on July 17: COVID-19 Lessons from the Front Lines Call

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Twice a month on Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern) 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, …

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New England Town Hall on July 29: Substance Use & COVID-19: A Way Forward

July 29, 2020 @ 2-3:30PM EDT The US. Department of Health & Human Services hosted a New England Virtual Town Hall with the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, entitled Substance Use and COVID-19: A Way Forward. This virtual, live New England Town Hall was designed to help our region chart a …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 16: Resiliency – Coping & Recovering During a Pandemic

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties—so what does that look like across the health care spectrum during this pandemic? Join us as we discuss fostering community resilience and how it impacts those you serve. …

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CMS Proposes Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation and Increased Access for Dialysis in the Home Setting

Rule proposes improved process to pay for innovative dialysis equipment and support home dialysis for Medicare’s most vulnerable population Today, the Trump Administration took dramatic steps to support access to home dialysis through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Building …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/29/20 and 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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Webinar on June 30: Berkshire HealthCare Systems’ COVID-19 Journey – Getting to the Gold

June 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT The COVID-19 pandemic created enormous pressure on our health care system. Nursing Homes, where over 85% of the residents are among the most vulnerable, were immediately impacted with several thousand residents confirmed positive in only a few weeks. As of June 18th, Massachusetts reported over …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 2: Nourishing the Mind, Body, & Soul During COVID-19

Providing Compassionate Food & Nutrition Services Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us for a COVID-19 Workshop on July 2 as we host a conversation with registered dieticians. Together, we’ll learn about: Successful practices to stabilize resident food intake Monitoring and managing …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/15/20

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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COVID-19 Workshop on June 18: Health Equity & COVID-19 – Mitigating Impacts on Minority Populations

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us on June 18 at 10:30am for a COVID-19 workshop on health equity. Better understand how and why COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable populations Learn actionable strategies for mitigating the impact of the pandemic …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/1/20

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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Resources for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and we want to recognize the unique position frontline health workers are in during this pandemic and what kind of toll that takes on their mental wellness. As it is, those in health care face high rates of burn out. But now they’re even more at risk for negative mental …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19. This is done through a wide variety of …

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Medicare Payment for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

Earlier this year, CMS took action to ensure America’s patients, health care facilities, and clinical laboratories were prepared to respond to COVID-19. To help increase testing, CMS developed two codes that laboratories can use to bill for certain COVID-19 lab tests, including serology tests. CMS has updated its guidance to include payment details for additional …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 5/18/20

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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