Interest Groups

Health Care & Life Sciences Section COVID-19 Updates - Health Care and Life Sciences News

Get the news you want the way you want it: click the RSS button in the right corner to add this feed to your RSS reader, or click here to subscribe to this content. By subscribing, you’ll find this news on your Member Account page, and the latest articles will be emailed to you in your customized IndyBar E-Bulletin e-newsletter.

Health Care and Life Sciences News


Posted on: Apr 14, 2020

All questions regarding the information below should be directed to Health Care & Life Sciences Section chair, Alli Emhardt.

May 8, 2020
FDA ACTIONS
FDA raises the bar for COVID antibody tests and requires submission of “Emergency Use Authorization Requests” in an effort to thwart false claims and fraudulent marketing.

The Gilead Sciences drug “remdesivir” shows a breakthrough in cutting hospital stays for COVID patients—leads to FDA authorizing its “emergency use” 

Sherlock Sciences receives “emergency use” authorization for CRISPR test to track COVID genetic sequences in subjects, which is intended to speed up the testing process in the US.

CMS ACTIONS
CMS interim final rule gives skilled nursing facilities until May 17 to submit COVID data reports and requires at least once-a-week reporting going forward. A two-week grace period ends May 24, but beginning May 31, noncompliant SNFs receive a warning letter. If noncompliance persists after June 7, SNFs receive a $1,000 per day civil monetary penalty—each week that passes with continued noncompliance increases the CMP by $500. CMS memo found here.

Retroactively effective March 1, CMS releases new telehealth blanket waivers—expand list of telehealth providers, broadens audio-only telehealth for Medicare patients, opioid treatment assistance, among others. 

INDIANA ACTIONS
Governor Holcomb issued an Executive Order presenting a “five-phase” plan to open Indiana businesses amidst the COVID outbreak—plans to fully reopen state by July 4 with still encouraging social distancing. 

Governor Holcomb’s “five-phase” reopening plan requires employers to implement a safety plan that must adhere to four elements (an article by Barnes & Thornburg, LLP).

General Info
Governor Tom Wolf adds Pennsylvania to list of states that grant civil immunity to eligible health care workers.

Governor Roy Cooper adds North Carolina to list of states that grant civil immunity to eligible health care workers.

An expert analysis on how the COVID pandemic showcases the existing flaws in the American health care system. Digital download available for uncorrected manuscript

American Hospital Association predicts hospital costs will exceed $200B as a result of COVID.

May 1, 2020
FEDERAL UPDATES
CARES Act Provisions for Healthcare and Health IT

Sens. Float Privacy Bill To Protect Data In COVID-19 Era
 
Now Is Not the Time To Roll Back Anti-Fraud Laws
 
Congress Presses FDA To Curb COVID-19 Testing Fraud
 
INDIANA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
State Health Commissioner’s Order providing reporting requirements for reporting COVID-19 information to ISDH
 
ISDH COVID Case Count as of April 9, 2020
 
INDIANA FSSA
Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 Response Indiana Area Agencies on Aging and Providers

New mental health resource website available for Hoosiers

LONG-TERM CARE
Trump Announces Panel To Look At Nursing Home Responses To Coronavirus Outbreak

ISDH State requirements and guidance for creating COVID-19 long-term care facilities
 
ISDH Toolkit for long-term care facility staff
 
GENERAL INFO
STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, IU PARTNER ON COVID-19 STUDY

Hogsett to extend Marion County’s stay-at-home order through May 15
 
INTERIM OUTPATIENT CLINIC AND OUTPATIENT FACILITIES RECOMMENDATIONS

April 24, 2020
CDC ACTIONS
The CDC has updated FAQs for laboratories providing COVID-19 testing

CMS ACTIONS
In conjunction with OIG, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and CMS released a policy outlining enforcement discretion to allow compliance flexibilities regarding the implementation of the interoperability final rules

CMS issued guidance on new and expanded flexibilities for Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers during the COVID-19 public health emergency

CMS updated the FAQ on Medicare FFS billing related to COVID-19

CMS released a guidance outlining criteria for restarting non-emergency procedures

FDA ACTIONS
The FDA has authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19

HHS ACTIONS
HHS appears to ban all surprise billing during the pandemic as part of the terms and conditions providers attest to upon receipt of relief funds under the CARES Act

HHS Secretary Ale Azar has released more information on the distribution of funds through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

CONGRESS
House passes $484 billion relief package

INDIANA STATE GOVERNOR
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issues Executive Order 20-22 extending Indiana’s stay-at-home order until May 1

INDIANA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
ISDH releases document with information on COVID-19 testing

ISDH COVID-19 Case Count as of April 23, 2020

INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
IDOI has issued Bulletin 253 relating to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-13 in order to provide additional information about coverage for COVID-19 testing in Bulletin 252

GENERAL INFO
Workforces look to the electronic execution of contracts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

Provider groups jointly issued a roadmap for resuming elective surgery after the COVID-10 pandemic

Hospital leaders discuss startup of elective surgeries

April 10, 2020

CARES Act
Volunteer healthcare providers are provided federal and state liability protection under the CARES Act
The CARES Act suspended Medicare sequestration and provides 20% increase for DRG payments
The CARES Act provides relief for healthcare providers through grants and Medicare changes

CMS Actions
CMS has suspended several rules to allow healthcare facilities to expand their medical staffs
CMS provides $34 Billion through expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program
CMS issues guidance recommending that providers postpone or limit elective procedures, creating a tier system

FDA Actions
FDA’s daily roundup from April 9, 2020
FDA allows use of electronic thermometers not previously approved
FDA issues guidance related to cleared infusion pumps

Indiana State Department of Health
State Health Commissioner’s Order providing reporting requirements for reporting COVID-19 information to ISDH
ISDH COVID Case Count as of April 9, 2020

Indiana Medicaid
Indiana FSSA releases guidance on Indiana Medicaid policy changes during COVID crisis

Long-Term Care
Application of CMS blanket waivers and ISDH blanket waivers relating to long-term care facilities and hospital discharges
ISDH State requirements and guidance for creating COVID-19 long-term care facilities
ISDH Toolkit for long-term care facility staff

General Info
Overview of recent developments as COVID peak nears

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Health Care & Life Sciences Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

DID YOU KNOW?

Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) est. 1878 | 4,536 Members (as of 2.11.21)