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 April. Now, repayments of the first loans are coming due. Absent a Congressional or CMS extension, 120 days after the loans were issued, CMS will recoup the loan amounts via Medicare claim withholding. Hospitals have one year from the date of the loan payment to repay the full balance of the loan, while Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers have 210 days. Hospital and provider advocacy groups are asking Congress to extend the recoupment period for loan recipients given the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and the ongoing precarious financial position of hospitals and providers.
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 the deadline to August 28 to apply for funds. Furthermore, starting next week, Medicare providers who missed the opportunity to apply for additional funding from the initial Medicare General Distribution made in April will be able to apply for funds until August 28.
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 up the previously issued Provider Guidance: Surveillance COVID-19 Testing for Long-Term Care Facilities which recommends testing each staff member (including agency staff, contracted health professionals and others who regularly enter the facility) at least bi-weekly.
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 submit a CDC Person Under Investigation (PUI) Form (also called a “COVID-19 Case Report Form”) and Kentucky’s Reportable Disease Form, an EPID 200, to the state or local health department. An updated version of the PUI Form can be found on CDC’s website, and an updated version of the EPID 200 can be found on the Commonwealth’s website.