CMS Issues Informational Bulletin on Medicaid Reimbursement Strategies to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Facilities

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients. Nursing facilities are particularly vulnerable to the prevalence and spread of COVID-19 and states must take proactive steps to enhance infection control policies, including establishing practices to limit potential transmission, and prevent widespread outbreaks within these facilities.

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CMS Announces Resumption of Routine Inspections of All Provider and Suppliers, Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance to States, and Posts Toolkit to Assist Nursing Homes

Guidance outlines recommendations to state agencies on Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of survey activities Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will resume routine inspections of all Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers to improve the safety and quality of life of patients and residents. CMS had previously suspended certain routine inspections as part of its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to prioritize infection control and immediate jeopardy situations and to give health care providers and suppliers time needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

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Trump Administration Has Issued More Than $15 Million in Fines to Nursing Homes During COVID-19 Pandemic

Under the leadership of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that the agency has imposed more than $15 million in civil money penalties (CMPs) to more than 3,400 nursing homes during the public health emergency for noncompliance with infection control requirements and the failure to report coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data.

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CMS unveils new Data Quality Atlas Tool for researchers

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid released a new public online tool called the “Data Quality (DQ) Atlas” allowing individuals to review the quality and usability of Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) Research Identifiable Files (RIF) and determine if the data can meet research needs.   The DQ Atlas builds on the goals of the T-MSIS initiative to improve user understanding of Medicaid and CHIP data and its quality. 

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Trump Administration Continues to Keep Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Low for Seniors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 29, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the average basic premium for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, which cover prescription drugs that beneficiaries pick up at a pharmacy. For the first time seniors that use insulin will be able to choose a prescription drug plan in their area that offers a broad set of insulins for no more than $35 per month per prescription.

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

July 28, 2020 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today 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 have the second highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among racial/ethnic groups after Blacks.

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Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19 President Trump today announced several new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “From the moment the threat of this virus materialized, the Trump Administration has placed a priority on protecting nursing home residents,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

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Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation – Implementation Timeline Extension and Revised Frequently Asked Questions State Medicaid Director Letter

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to state Medicaid agencies informing them that the agency will be extending the deadline for ensuring compliance with the Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS recognizes that states have faced significant challenges and delays in their implementation activities, and that service provision and community integration approaches have been disrupted.

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CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas.  Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

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CMS Issues Clarifications on How to Obtain Additional Coverage during the Pandemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to clarify instructions on authorized Medicare coverage waivers and modifications due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) through a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) publication.[1] In a CMA Alert last month, the Center for Medicare Advocacy presented a case study that described the circumstances under which a beneficiary may qualify for an additional 100 days of coverage in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) due to the PHE.[2] CMS has recently confirmed that “beneficiaries who do not themselves have a COVID-19 diagnosis may nevertheless be affected by the PHE.”[3] CMS clarified that if “the beneficiary is receiving the very same course of treatment as if the emergency had never occurred”, the beneficiary would not qualify for additional SNF days.[4] However, the qualification states that a “determination basically involves comparing the course of treatment that the beneficiary has actually received to what would have been furnished absent the emergency.

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