Testing Reimbursement for Nursing Facilities Continues
Nursing facilities have been able to seek reimbursement for COVID-19 testing of residents and staff based on the guidance released by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). On Tuesday August 11, MDHHS released policy bulletin MSA 20-57 regarding laboratory billing for COVID-19 testing and specimen collection. The bulletin states that specimen collection by nursing facilities is a cost included in the per diem rate. This is not accurate for COVID-19 specimen collection. HCAM reached out to the MDHHS policy staff regarding this policy and the policy staff did confirm that nursing facilities should continue to seek reimbursement for specimen collection based on the testing reimbursement guidance. All facilities are entitled to reimbursement for specimen collection and other unreimbursed costs related to COVID-19 testing.
All Member Call with Mark Parkinson: HHS Provider Relief Funds - Recording Available
An archived recording of yesterday's All Member Call with Mark Parkinson: HHS Provider Relief Funds is available in ahcancalED. To hear the recorded call and view the slides click HERE. Be advised, this is a member only session. You will need to log into ahcancalED with your normal AHCA/NCAL log in to access.
Seema Verma Concerned About Rise in Nursing Home COVID Counts
Yesterday, August 13 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma held a call for nursing facility providers and shared she is deeply concerned over the rising COVID cases seen across the nation. Verma's call came after announcements that CMS will be sending COVID testing units to all facilities with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Waivers, subsequent reviews of National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reported COVID data, and debrief sessions with federal Strike Teams and the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO).
"This is not just a testing issue or a supply issue, and our deep concern is that even in nursing homes that are doing testing on a regular basis, that we are still seeing significant spread -- and so even with our commitment to do more testing, to ensure you have the supplies that you need, our concern is that that's not going to necessarily completely address the problem," Verma stated.
Verma went on to share, "What we are seeing are significant deficiencies in infection control practices," Verma said. "A lot of your management seems to be very attuned to the requirements and the guidelines. These are long-standing guidelines that we've had in place. Unfortunately, what we're seeing on the ground is that some of the translation to frontline staff -- sometimes that there are issues there."
CMS medical officials included on the call urged providers to focus on infection control protocols with an emphasis on educating front line staff through repeated and ongoing training, and developing a culture that fosters calling out failures to support compliance.
iQIES Reports Training Guide Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared there is a new resource available to help providers better understand reports in the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES). The iQIES Reports Training Guide provides detailed information on report actions, report pages, and a list of reports available in iQIES.
Users are encouraged to review the iQIES Reports Training Guide prior to contacting the QTSO Help Desk. For questions beyond information available in the iQIES Reports Training Guide, please contact the QTSO Help Desk at iQIES@cms.hhs.gov or by phone at 800-339-9313.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 14, 2020