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COVID-19: Training to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices
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Thursday, August 27, 2020


Claims, Pricers & Codes

MLN Matters® Articles



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Trump Administration Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices

On August 25, under the leadership of President Trump, 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 the knowledge they need to stop the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their nursing homes. The training will be available immediately to staff of America’s 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes and focuses on critical topics like infection control and prevention, appropriate screening of visitors, effective cohorting of residents, safe admission and transfer of residents, and the proper use of personal protective equipment – all critical elements of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The first-of-its kind scenario-based training is called the “CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff and Management” and it has been designed specifically with COVID-19 in mind. The program features a tailored course that incorporates the most recent lessons learned from nursing homes and teaches frontline staff best practices they can implement to address issues related to COVID-19. The training is available now on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal, with five specific modules designed for frontline clinical staff and 10 designed for nursing home management.

Finally, while the training is comprehensive, CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also have subject matter experts available on bi-weekly webinars through January 7 from 4 to 5 pm ET, to answer questions. Registration is required for these Question & Answer sessions.

If a nursing home’s staff is unsure which training module best meets their needs, CMS is offering an online self-assessment tool to help them identify their needs and suggest the appropriate training modules. A certificate of completion is offered for each completed training course.

See the full text of this excerpted CMS Press Release (issued August 25).


SNF Provider Preview Reports: Review Your Data by August 30

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports are available. Review your performance data on quality measures by August 30, prior to public display on the Nursing Home Compare website in October. Corrections to the underlying data are not permitted during this time; request a CMS review if you believe your data is inaccurate.

Beginning with the October 2020 refresh, CMS will display six new measures. For more information, visit the SNF Quality Reporting Program Public Reporting  webpage.


COVID: Nursing Home Toolkit

Learn from creative plans implemented by state governments and other entities in the Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes (PDF). This informational document is not guidance from CMS and does not replace our requirements.


Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program: Become a Medicare Enrolled Supplier

Medicare pays Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) suppliers to furnish group-based intervention to at-risk eligible Medicare beneficiaries:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved National Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum
  • Up to 2 years of sessions delivered to groups of eligible beneficiaries

Find out how to become a Medicare enrolled MDPP supplier:

For More Information:


Claims, Pricers & Codes

COVID-19: Waive Cost-Sharing for These HCPCS Codes

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act waives cost-sharing under Medicare Part B (coinsurance and deductible amounts) for COVID-19 testing-related services through the end of the public health emergency. In April, CMS provided evaluation and management categories for applicable medical visits. We are now specifying HCPCS procedure codes for this cost-sharing waiver for:

  1. Physicians/Non-Physician Practitioners (ZIP)
  2. Hospital Outpatient Departments paid under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (PDF)
  3. Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (ZIP)
  4. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) use the Outpatient list; Method II CAHs use the Outpatient and Physicians/Non-Physician Practitioners lists as applicable

Use the Cost Sharing (CS) modifier on applicable claim lines to identify the service as subject to this cost-sharing wavier. If you use the CS modifier with HCPCS codes that are not on the list, we will return the claim.

For more information, see MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF).


MLN Matters® Articles

Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Pricer Update FY 2021 — Revised

CMS revised MLN Matters Article MM11859 on Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Pricer Update FY 2021 (PDF) to include information about a 5 percent cap.


October 2020 Quarterly Average Sales Price (ASP) Medicare Part B Drug Pricing Files and Revisions to Prior Quarterly Pricing Files — Revised

CMS revised MLN Matters Article MM11854 on October 2020 Quarterly Average Sales Price (ASP) Medicare Part B Drug Pricing Files and Revisions to Prior Quarterly Pricing Files (PDF) to reflect a revised release date.



Creating an Effective Hospice Plan of Care

A new Creating An Effective Hospice Plan of Care (PDF) Fact Sheet is available. Learn about:

  • Creating and coordinating a successful hospice Plan of Care (POC)
  • Roles of the interdisciplinary group and registered nurse coordinator
  • Principles of care planning to promote quality care
  • Common deficiencies related to POC implementation



Physician Fee Schedule Listening Session: Audio Recording and Transcript

An audio recording (ZIP) and transcript (PDF) are available for the August 13 Medicare Learning Network listening session on the Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule: Understanding 4 Key Topics. CMS experts address your clarifying questions to help you formulate comments for formal submission.


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