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COVID-19 Updates – Digest for Week of August 24, 2020

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This work week is not quite over yet (I’m writing this on Thursday morning) however there are some items I want to be sure you’re aware of before more information is provided. Yesterday I posted QSO-20-37-CLIA, NH Issued – Interim Final Rule Guidance. If you read that blog immediately after it was posted, you saw this with one big exception: …

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Cue the Theme Music from “Jaws”…Flu Season is Right Around the Corner

In COVID-19, Long-Term Care, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

“The real risk is that we’re going to have two circulating respiratory pathogens at the same time.”  This is the statement made by Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to Time magazine last month.   He went on to say this: “In high-risk groups we know flu by itself can cause substantial morbidity and …

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COVID-19 Updated and New Information – Early August 2020

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FAQs: COVID-19 Testing at Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Homes was updated August 5, 2020. This is an 8-page document that answers questions about COVID testing, safety precautions during testing, provider order for testing, reporting, CLIA certificates, etc. CDC updated this return to work guidance again on Monday, August 10, 2020. COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing was updated August 7, 2020. …

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Penalty for Delayed Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) Submission – Implementation

In Home Health, News by Mary Madison8 Comments

CMS has issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11855: Penalty for Delayed Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) Submission – Implementation (PDF).   This MLN Matters Article is for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) who wish to bill Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.  The article informs you about the implementation of the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Home Health (HH) …

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Hospice FY2021 Final Rule Issued

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On July 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule CMS-1733-F that updates fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. CMS is publishing this final rule consistent with the legal requirements to update Medicare payment policies for hospices on an annual basis. In recognition of the …

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Breaking News: Fiscal Year 2021 Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare SNFs Final Rule Issued

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“On July 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule [CMS-1737-F] for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 that updates the Medicare payment rates and the value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). CMS is publishing this final rule consistent with the legal requirements to update Medicare payment policies for SNFs on an annual basis. …

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Administration Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 PHE

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This Press Release announced CMS changes as well as an Executive Order signed on Monday, August 3, 2020. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that President Trump signed today. The Executive Order and proposed rule advance our efforts to improve …

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COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing Updated Again

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This 140-page COVID-19 FAQ document was updated on July 28, 2020. This is what’s new in this version during July: Page 10 – Diagnostic Laboratory Services … Question: If a physician/non-physician practitioner (NPP) reports CPT code 99211 “Office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient that may not require the presence of a physician”, …

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News Alert: Provider Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing

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The following News Alert was issued mid-day on Thursday, June 30, 2020: CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to …

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Hospice PEPPER Now Available

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The Q4FY19 release of the Hospice Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) with statistics through September 2019 is now available for download through the PEPPER Resources Portal. To obtain your Hospice PEPPER, the Chief Executive Officer, President, Administrator, Compliance Officer, or Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement Officer of your organization should: Review the Secure PEPPER Access Guide. Review the instructions and obtain …