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Wednesday, April 15: Adaptation of Hyperbaric Hood for COVID Patients – Check Out This Video!

Check out this video by Tom Fox demonstrating how a hood normally used for hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be adapted to provide a high percentage of oxygen to patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Monday, April 13: How to Don and Doff PPE

Here’s a useful instructional video about using PPE.


Monday, April 13: The Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application will reopen on April 3, 2020 and close on April 30, 2020, 8 pm ET

To provide relief to clinicians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS is extending the automatic MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to individual clinicians and re-opening the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception application for MIPS eligible clinicians, groups and virtual groups, including those who have already submitted data for the 2019 performance year. The Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response fact sheet provides additional information about the automatic policy and the application.


Friday, April 10: How to Put On and Take Off an N95 Mask

Here’s a link to simple guidance from the CDC regarding the correct way to put on and take off your N95 mask.


Thursday, April 9: Coronavirus & Masks – What You Need to Know About the New Cloth Face Covering Recommendations | Houston Methodist On Health

The best, practical resource I’ve seen on masks.


Thursday, April 9: Management of Critically Ill Adults with COVID-19 – JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis Now Available

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763879


Wednesday, April 8 at 1:30 PM: Special Open Door Forum Addressing Telehealth in Medicare during COVID-19

CMS invites you to a Special Open Door Forum addressing CMS’ actions to increase access to Telehealth in Medicare during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

This Special Open Door Forum is open to everyone, if you are a member of the Press, you may listen in but please refrain from asking questions during the Q & A portion of the call. If you have inquiries, please contact CMS at Press@cms.hhs.gov. Thank you.

This call will begin promptly at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 8.

Wednesday, April 8th
1:30-2:30 PM ET
Dial-in Information
1-888-455-1397
Participant passcode: 3535324

Please dial in 15 minutes ahead of time


Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Physicians and Other Clinicians – CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19

The Trump Administration is issuing an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Made possible by President Trump’s recent emergency declaration and emergency rule making, these temporary changes will apply immediately across the entire U.S. healthcare system for the duration of the emergency declaration. The goals of these actions are to 1) to ensure that local hospitals and health systems have the capacity to handle a potential surge of COVID-19 patients through temporary expansion sites (also known as CMS Hospital Without Walls); 2) remove barriers for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians to be readily hired from the community or from other states so the healthcare system can rapidly expands its workforce; 3) increase access to telehealth in Medicare to ensure patients have access to physicians and other clinicians while keeping patients safe at home; 4) expand in-place testing to allow for more testing at home or in community based settings; and 5) put Patients Over Paperwork to give temporary relief from many paperwork, reporting and audit requirements so providers, health care facilities, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and States can focus on providing needed care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries affected by COVID-19.

https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-19-physicians-and-practitioners.pdf


April 7, 2020: Helmet-based ventilation is superior to face mask for patients with respiratory distress – UChicago Medicine

Read the full story here


April 3, 2020: Billing for Professional Telehealth Distant Site Services During the Public Health Emergency — Revised

This corrects a prior message that appeared in our March 31, 2020 Special Edition.

Building on prior action to expand reimbursement for telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries, CMS will now allow for more than 80 additional services to be furnished via telehealth. When billing professional claims for all telehealth services with dates of services on or after March 1, 2020, and for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), bill with:

  •  Place of Service (POS) equal to what it would have been had the service been furnished in-person
  • Modifier 95, indicating that the service rendered was actually performed via telehealth

As a reminder, CMS is not requiring the CR modifier on telehealth services. However, consistent with current rules for telehealth services, there are two scenarios where modifiers are required on Medicare telehealth professional claims:

  • Furnished as part of a federal telemedicine demonstration project in Alaska and Hawaii using asynchronous (store and forward) technology, use GQ modifier
  • Furnished for diagnosis and treatment of an acute stroke, use G0 modifier

There are no billing changes for institutional claims; critical access hospital method II claims should continue to bill with modifier GT.

View the full message here


April 3, 2020: New England Journal of Medicine COVID-19 Collection

A special page at NEJM.org presents a collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary. All articles are freely available.

Access the Collection Here.


April 2, 2020: U.S. Hospitals Have a Ventilator Shortage. A Team of Rice Engineers Say They Have a Solution.

The device they’ve designed has piqued the interest of government officials and large manufacturers hoping to address the coronavirus crisis.

Read the full article here.


April 1, 2020: Sea-Long Hyperbaric hoods for COVID-19 protection!

A spacesuit-like helmet ventilation device manufactured by a Texas mom-and-pop business is in high demand as doctors across the world request it to treat COVID-19 patients, according to a new report. Sea-Long Medical Systems Inc. in the small town of Waxahachie, run by Chris Austin, previously fielded a few dozen orders a week for the device, originally designed to supply oxygen to patients being treated in hyperbaric chambers, NBC News reported. Now, Austin says “‘overwhelmed’ doesn’t scratch

Read in New York Post


March 31, 2020: Hurricane COVID-19? Natural Disaster Advance Medicare Payments Now Include COVID.

CMS has expanded a program that was originally put in place to support physician practices in areas that have suffered natural disasters. This is now open to all Medicare providers. Please make sure that  you are aware of your options as we face challenging financial times, which are only compounded by the health risks we all face as we interact with our patients, many of whom are high risk. CMS will advance approximately 3 months of average Medicare payments to a practice. hospital, DME provider, or other Part A/Part B recipients.

Although the funds will be recouped by reducing future Medicare reimbursements, there is a 120 day grace period, and then a repayment period of approximately 3 months.

Accelerated and advance Medicare payments provide emergency funding and addresses cash flow issues based on historical payments when there is disruption in claims submission and/or claims processing. These expedited payments are typically offered in natural disasters to accelerate cash flow to the impacted health care providers and suppliers. In this situation, CMS is expanding the program for all Medicare providers throughout the country during the public health emergency related to COVID-19.  The payments can be requested by hospitals, doctors, durable medical equipment suppliers and other Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers.

To qualify for accelerated or advance payments, the provider or supplier must:

  • Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days immediately prior to the date of signature on the provider’s / supplier’s request form,
  • Not be in bankruptcy,
  • Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and
  • Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

Medicare will start accepting and processing the Accelerated/Advance Payment Requests immediately. CMS anticipates that the payments will be issued within seven days of the provider’s request.
https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-provides-financial-relief-medicare-providers

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