Friday, April 10, 2020
- CMS Issues New Wave of Infection Control Guidance to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers from COVID-19
- Trump Administration Acts to Ensure U.S. Healthcare Facilities Can Maximize Frontline Workforces to Confront COVID-19 Crisis
- Updated Questions and Answers on COVID-19
- Using CS Modifier When Cost-Sharing is Waived
- Medicare FFS Claims: 2% Payment Adjustment Suspended (Sequestration)
CMS Issues New Wave of Infection Control Guidance to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers from COVID-19
CMS 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 and outpatient care settings. The guidance, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, will help ensure infection control in the context of patient triage, screening and treatment, the use of alternate testing and treatment sites and telehealth, drive-through screenings, limiting visitations, cleaning and disinfection guidelines, staffing, and more.
Trump 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, and focus on reducing supervision and certification requirements so that practitioners can be hired quickly and perform work to the fullest extent of their licenses. The new waivers sharply expand the workforce flexibilities CMS announced on March 30.
For a fact sheet detailing additional information on the waivers announced today and previously, go to: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/summary-covid-19-emergency-declaration-waivers.pdf (PDF)
Review CMS’ updated FAQs (PDF) to equip the American health care system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Check this resource often as CMS updates it on a regular basis - we insert the date at the end of each FAQ when it is new or updated.
This clarifies a prior message that appeared in our April 7, 2020 Special Edition.
CMS now waives cost-sharing (coinsurance and deductible amounts) under Medicare Part B for Medicare patients for certain COVID-19 testing-related services. Previously, CMS made available the CS modifier for the gulf oil spill in 2010; however, CMS recently repurposed the CS modifier for COVID-19 purposes. Now, for services furnished on March 18, 2020, and through the end of the Public Health Emergency, outpatient providers, physicians, and other providers and suppliers that bill Medicare for Part B services under specific payment systems outlined in the April 7 message should use the CS modifier on applicable claim lines to identify the service as subject to the cost-sharing wavier for COVID-19 testing-related services and to get 100% of the Medicare-approved amount. Additionally, they should NOT charge Medicare patients any co-insurance and/or deductible amounts for those services.
Section 3709 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily suspends the 2% payment adjustment currently applied to all Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) claims due to sequestration. The suspension is effective for claims with dates of service from May 1 through December 31, 2020.
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