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COVID-19 regulatory updates from the last week include July-December State Testing Plans released by HHS and allocations of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund for nursing homes.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publicly posted the July through December COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities on HHS.gov. The State Testing Plans serve as a roadmap developed in partnership with the Federal government for each jurisdiction’s monthly 2020 testing strategy for COVID-19. Each state plan is required to include details of critical parameters for state testing strategies, including details on responding to surges in cases and reaching vulnerable populations including minorities, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults.
HHS recently announced $5 billion of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) will be allocated to nursing homes and long-term care facilities to protect residents impacted by COVID-19. An initial $2.5 billion will be distributed to providers in mid-August 2020, and the balance will be distributed to nursing homes based on performance as discussed further below.
The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released two new Category I Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and two new proprietary laboratory analyses codes for reporting SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing. The new codes are effective immediately.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an umbrella emergency use authorization (EUA) in response to concerns relating to insufficient supply and availability of certain disposable, single-use surgical masks for use in healthcare settings by health care personnel as personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE provide a physical barrier to fluids and particulate materials to prevent HCP exposure to respiratory droplets and large particles during surgical mask shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.