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September 5, 2020


CMS National SNF Call on Tuesday. Here is the announcement and registration information from CMS:

Please join Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and Administration officials for a National Nursing Home COVID-19 Call on Tuesday, September, 8th from 6:30 – 7:30 PM Eastern.

Speakers:

  • Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Robert R. Redfield, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Lee Fleisher, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CMS

Participant (Muted): (833) 614-0820
Conference ID: 6353368
Conference lines are limited, so we encourage you to join via webcast.

AHCA Webinar Tuesday on New HHS SNF VBP Program. Yes, another webinar! Here is the announcement and registration information from AHCA:

Webinar on CMS COVID-19 Performance Payment Program - Tuesday, Sept. 8

On September 3, HHS announced its $2 billion quality incentive program for nursing homes as part of the $5 billion tranche announced on August 7 of CARES Act funding for COVID relief.

AHCA/NCAL is scheduling a webinar on Tuesday, September 8 from 1-2:30 pm Eastern. Mark Parkinson and CMO David Gifford will review the new rule, answer questions, and discuss resources available to help members with this program.

How to Register: 
  • Members will need to log in using their existing AHCA/NCAL username and password first. 
  • Once you are logged in to the website you will be able to pre-register
  • If you have forgotten your password, click here
  • If you are new to the site you can create an account here. After doing so, you will be able to register for the webinar. Please note, all new account holders must add their member facility to their account at the time of account creation.
Please use Google Chrome to avoid technical problems. The webinar will be recorded and made available to members on ahcancalED. Email educate@ahca.org for further assistance with the webinar.

OIG Updates COVID-19 FAQ Regarding HHA Lab Draws for AL Residents. On September 3, 2020, the Office Inspector General (OIG) updated its COVID-19 frequently-asked questions regarding free lab draws for home health agencies:

Question: Can a home health agency’s staff members furnish free blood draws provided that such blood draws are within the scope of the staff’s licenses- to assisted living facility residents who are federal health care program beneficiaries and are not patients of the HHA?

Answer: OIG's longstanding guidance makes clear that, depending on the facts and circumstances, the provision of free goods or services to an actual or potential referral source of Federal health care program business may implicate the Federal anti-kickback statute. Similarly, depending on the facts and circumstances, providing free goods or services to Federal health care program beneficiaries may implicate the Beneficiary Inducements CMP. However, we believe that there are scenarios in which an HHA and an assisted living facility could work together to fill critical gaps caused by the COVID-19 outbreak to provide necessary health care services to vulnerable beneficiaries residing in an assisted living facility. Facilitating blood draws for medically necessary clinical laboratory testing in a patient's residence may improve access to care and promote patient safety during the current pandemic by avoiding exposure to a separate testing site.

In the unique circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, we believe that these facts likely would present a low risk of fraud and abuse under the Federal anti-kickback statute and the Beneficiary Inducements CMP provided the free blood draw services being offered by an HHA—through its staff members—to Federal health care program beneficiaries who are not patients of the HHA and reside in an assisted living facility are: (1) within the scope of practice of the HHA's staff; (2) limited to the period subject to the COVID-19 Declaration; and (3) not contingent upon referrals for any items or services that may be reimbursable in whole or in part by a Federal health care program, either during or after the COVID-19 Declaration period. In addition, no party may bill or otherwise shift the costs of free blood draws to Federal health care programs.