Health Care

First Provider Loans Through the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs Come Due

As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs back in March 2020 to allow providers and suppliers to apply for advances on their Medicare payments to offset their costs and losses incurred at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, then curbed the programs in … Read more First Provider Loans Through the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs Come Due

HHS Extends Deadline for Medicaid Providers to Request Relief

In June 2020, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers were able to apply to the Provider Relief Fund for funding of up to 2% of reported revenue from patient care. The initial deadline of July 20, 2020 was extended to August 3. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services has extended … Read more HHS Extends Deadline for Medicaid Providers to Request Relief

CMS Proposes Permanent Expanded Telehealth Benefits

On August 4, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed permanent changes to extend the availability of certain telehealth services even after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends to give Medicare beneficiaries more convenient ways to access healthcare, particularly in rural … Read more CMS Proposes Permanent Expanded Telehealth Benefits

Kentucky DPH COVID-19 Guidance on Release from Isolation/Return to Work

On August 3, 2020, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) issued Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Disease Clearance Guidance on determining when to release an individual from isolation and/or return the individual to work.  The KDPH recommends a symptom-based strategy to determine resolution of COVID-19 clinical disease and likely infectivity. The guidance states that it … Read more Kentucky DPH COVID-19 Guidance on Release from Isolation/Return to Work

FAQs on COVID-19 Testing for Long-Term Care Facilities

On August 5, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) answered Frequently Asked Questions relating to surveillance COVID-19 Testing for long-term care facilities.  These FAQs address common questions about testing of staff and residents, such as who should be tested, how often, should staff be tested if not working, etc.  This follows … Read more FAQs on COVID-19 Testing for Long-Term Care Facilities

COVID-19 Test Guidance for Healthcare Providers

On August 5, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) issued guidance for healthcare providers, reminding them that they are required by law to report all positive laboratory COVID-19 results, including rapid tests, of Kentucky residents to the local or state health department within 24 hours. For any positive results, providers must … Read more COVID-19 Test Guidance for Healthcare Providers

COVID-19 Test Guidance for Clinical Commercial Laboratories

On August 5, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) issued updated test reporting guidance to clinical laboratories that conduct testing for COVID-19, including rapid testing.  Effective immediately, CHFS now requires that all laboratories and facilities report all test results (all positive and non-positive) electronically through the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE). Labs … Read more COVID-19 Test Guidance for Clinical Commercial Laboratories

CMS is Reprocessing Physician Telehealth Claims That Were Denied Due to SNF CB Edits

On July 31, 2020, in a late Special Edition of the MLN News, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that claims with dates of service on or after March 1, 2020, for physician telehealth services to Medicare Part A residents in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) had been erroneously denied. The denials … Read more CMS is Reprocessing Physician Telehealth Claims That Were Denied Due to SNF CB Edits

HHS Office of Inspector General Updates its FAQs on Arrangements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On July 29, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) updated its FAQs published in response to inquiries from the healthcare community on the application of the OIG’s administrative enforcement authorities to arrangements connected to the COVID-19 public health emergency. More specifically, the OIG concluded that if certain conditions … Read more HHS Office of Inspector General Updates its FAQs on Arrangements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS Implements New Hospital Procedure Codes for COVID-19-Related Therapeutics

On July 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that new procedure codes are being implemented to allow Medicare to identify the use of the therapeutics remdesivir and convalescent plasma for treating hospital in-patients with COVID-19. These codes will be effective August 1, 2020 and are intended to assist tracking and … Read more CMS Implements New Hospital Procedure Codes for COVID-19-Related Therapeutics

Revised Medicare Billing Guidance Allows for Reimbursement for COVID-19 Counseling During Testing

On July 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its billing guidance to allow for payment to healthcare professionals who counsel patients, at the time of COVID-19 diagnostic testing, about the importance of self-isolating following testing and prior to the onset of … Read more Revised Medicare Billing Guidance Allows for Reimbursement for COVID-19 Counseling During Testing

Legal Professionals Weigh the Long-Term Impact of CMS 1135 Pandemic Waivers

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published numerous 1135 blanket waivers (available here) to help counteract the strains and limitations placed on healthcare providers caused by the virus. On July 24, 2020, the American Health Lawyers Association published a detailed article considering the complexities … Read more Legal Professionals Weigh the Long-Term Impact of CMS 1135 Pandemic Waivers

HHS Publishes Report on Telehealth Utilization Trends

On July 28, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services released a new report showing utilization trends of telehealth services for fee-for-service Medicare services. Based on claims data collected from January through early June, the report found that in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and the waiver of restrictions on where … Read more HHS Publishes Report on Telehealth Utilization Trends

Reminder That Physician Orders Aren’t Required for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing in Kentucky

On July 29, 2020, Governor Beshear reiterated that an order from a licensed clinician is not necessary for laboratory service providers to perform and bill for FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Additionally, pursuant to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Public Health Order, health insurers may not require a licensed clinician’s order from … Read more Reminder That Physician Orders Aren’t Required for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing in Kentucky

HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On July 23, 2020, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar renewed the determination that a Public Health Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic exists. Secretary Azar first declared the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on January 27, 2020 and first renewed that declaration on April 21. This renewal was due to expire on July … Read more HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Nursing Homes Receive Additional Funding and Staff Testing Mandates

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced an additional $5 billion of funding from the Provider Relief Fund will go to Medicare-certified long term care facilities to support the enhancement of nursing homes’ response to COVID-19. These funds are meant to assist facilities with enhancing infection control, building up staffing, increasing testing, … Read more Nursing Homes Receive Additional Funding and Staff Testing Mandates

HHS Launches Coronavirus Data Hub

Last week, hospitals were directed to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network and report coronavirus-related information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). More information on the shift of reporting is also available here. This week, HHS launched its Coronavirus Data Hub, which purports to … Read more HHS Launches Coronavirus Data Hub

CMS Weighs Considerations for Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Capabilities

As previously reported, Congress has been weighing legislation that would make some changes and expansions to telehealth services permanent following the conclusion of the COVID-19 public health emergency. On July 15, 2020, the director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma, published a blog analyzing the data collected since the temporary … Read more CMS Weighs Considerations for Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Capabilities

Aid for Health Departments

On July 9, 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $36,200,000 in assistance for Kentucky’s local public health departments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds will allow the health departments to continue providing essential, front-line public health services in the battle against COVID-19.

CHFS Clarification on Medicaid Add-on Billing

On July 10, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) issued guidance to health care facilities clarifying that the lab result is the source document for billing start/stop dates. Billing starts when the positive test result is received and continues until the COVID-19 resident is released from isolation (i.e., considered recovered) based … Read more CHFS Clarification on Medicaid Add-on Billing

Personal Protective Equipment Supplies Running Low

Recent surges in COVID-19 cases are straining health care providers’ already low supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Despite efforts to increase production and distribution of PPE since the COVID-19 public health emergency began, as well as efforts such as decontaminating N95 masks to extend the useful life of PPE, shortages of disinfectant wipes, N95 … Read more Personal Protective Equipment Supplies Running Low

IRS Grants Extension for Non-Profit Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment Requirements

On July 14, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline for hospitals to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA). Healthcare organizations that claim non-profit status are required to complete a CHNA every three years, but the COVID-19 emergency has significantly interfered with hospitals’ ability to timely and accurately perform the assessment. The original … Read more IRS Grants Extension for Non-Profit Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment Requirements

Hospitals Serving Vulnerable Populations to Receive Additional Aid

On July 10, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that approximately $3 billion of Provider Relief Funds will go to hospitals serving vulnerable populations on thin margins. Many of these hospitals may have missed out on earlier fund distributions due to their low Medicare patient populations. An additional $1 billion will … Read more Hospitals Serving Vulnerable Populations to Receive Additional Aid

Doctors May Face False Claims Act Risks Concerning Telehealth Services

Although Congress is currently considering legislation to permanently implement the temporary telehealth expansion waivers implemented in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, providers should carefully monitor current federal and state telehealth requirements in the event that the telehealth waivers lapse before permanent changes are made. For Medicare beneficiaries, waivers eliminated the “originating site” requirement … Read more Doctors May Face False Claims Act Risks Concerning Telehealth Services

HHS Launches Additional COVID-19 Testing in Hotspots

On July 7, 2020, in response to surging COVID-19 cases across the country, the Department of Health and Human Services announced free COVID-19 testing in Jacksonville, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Edinburg, Texas. COVID-19 testing at these virus hotspots is available to anyone who is experiencing symptoms, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, … Read more HHS Launches Additional COVID-19 Testing in Hotspots


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