COVID-19 in the News July 14th – July 20th

on Tuesday, 21 July 2020. All News Items | Case Management | Documentation | Coding

FDA Hand Sanitizer Quiz, Who Does a Hospital Report Daily COVID-19 Data To, and High Impact Hospitals to Receive Additional Funding

MMP remains committed to continuing to monitor for COVID-19 updates specific to our reader base. This week we highlight key updates spanning from July 14th – July 20th.   

Resource Spotlight: CDC COVID-19 One-Stop Shop Toolkits

The CDC has compiled a COVID-19 One-Stop Shop Toolkits webpage where you will find videos, social media, public service announcements, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources for the following audiences:

  • Young Adults: 15 – 21,
  • Childcare Programs & Summer Camps,
  • Youth Sports,
  • K-12 Schools,
  • Businesses & Workplaces,
  • Community & Faith-Based Organizations,
  • General Public,
  • Domestic Travelers,
  • Shared & Congregate Housing, and
  • Parks & Recreational Facilities.


July 14, 2020: FDA COVID-19 Daily Roundup – FDA Posts Hand Sanitizer Quiz

Hand sanitizer has been and continues to be a hot commodity during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Do you know where to store and not store hand sanitizer? Is hand sanitizer a drug? When should you consider a hand sanitizer to be expired? These are questions you will find answers to in a Hand Sanitizer Quiz posted by the FDA in their July 14th COVID-19 Daily Roundup. The FDA indicates the quiz provides answers to frequently asked questions and “can help consumers learn how to correctly use hand sanitizer.”


July 14, 2020: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Initiative for More and Faster COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes

HHS announced “a one-time procurement of devices and tests targeted to facilitate on-site testing among nursing home residents and staff. Through this crucial action, nursing homes will be able to augment their current capacity for coronavirus testing, bolstering their response and helping to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Nursing Home Numbers as of July 9, 2020 according to CMS:

  • 200,000: The number of confirmed of suspected cases of COVID-19,
  • 35,000: The number of COVID-19 deaths.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that nursing homes perform baseline testing of all residents and staff, followed by regular screening and surveillance through routine testing to detect potential outbreak situations early and reduce morbidity and mortality.”


July 15, 2020: HHS Makes Changes to COVID-19 Daily Data Reporting for Hospitals

Vice President Pence sent a letter to hospital administrators on March 29, 2020 requesting daily data reports on testing, capacity and utilization, and patient flows be sent to the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to facilitate the public health response to COVID-19.

Effective July 15, 2020 reporting to the NHSN is no longer an option. Instead, hospitals are to submit this data directly to the Federal Government through one of the methods outlined in the COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting document that was updated on July 10, 2020.

CDC Director Robert Redfield indicated in a prepared remarks that the CDC’s NHSN “is an important surveillance system in our nation’s hospitals, which focuses on fighting antibiotic resistance.

In April, HHS leaders, with input from CDC, created a new system, called HHS Protect, that allows us to combine data through systems like NHSN, as well as other public and private sources. The data reported from hospitals that went into HHS Protect either came through the NHSN, directly to HHS Protect from the states, or through a system called TeleTracking.

What we have now asked is that, going forward, states provide data from hospitals directly through the TeleTracking system or directly to the HHS Protect system.”


July 16, 2020: CDC Webinar: Clinical Management of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with COVID-19

Previously, the CDC provided a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) MIS-C with COVID-19 call on May 19, 2020. That call focused on providing clinicians information about clinical characteristics of MIS-C, how cases have been diagnosed and treated, and how clinicians have responded to recently reported cases associated with COVID-19. This past Thursday July 17, 2020, a second webinar was held focusing on the clinical management of this patient population. The CDC has provided a recording and slide deck for both webinars.   


July 16, 2020: July 2020 Updated of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) MLN Article MM11814 Revised

Now in its third iteration, CMS updated MLN Article MM11814 on July 16th. Revisions made reflect the revised Change Request (CR) 11814. Specific revisions include:

  • Update to the section on “COVID-19 Laboratory Tests and Services and Other Laboratory Tests Coding Update,”
  • Table 1 updated to add 3 new COVID-19 codes: 87426, 0223U, and 0224U,
  • HCPCS code Q5112 status indicator was changed from SI=E2 to SI=K, effective April 15, 2020 through September 30, 2020 and section 9 “Drugs, Biologicals, and Radiopharmaceuticals” has been updated by adding new subsections j and k to reflect the change.


July 16, 2020: FDA Closes its COVID-19 Industry Hotline

In the FDA’s Daily Roundup for July 16th they announced that as of 8:00 PM on Friday July 17th they would be closing their COVID-19 Industry Hotline. Moving forward to meet current needs, the FDA will be “providing support for industry and laboratory questions about COVID-19 and medical devices through this directory Contacts for Medical Devices During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”


July 17, 2020: HHS Distributing $10 Billion in Additional Funding to Hospitals in High Impact COVID-19 Areas

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicated in a July 17th announcement that they are set to begin distributing $10 billion in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals this week.  In this second round of funding, amounts to be distributed “was based on a formula for hospitals with over 161 COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and June 10, 2020, or one admission per day, or that experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID admissions (exceeding the average ratio of COVID admissions/bed). Hospitals will be paid $50,000 per eligible admission.” The HHS announcement provides links to a list of hospital recipients of funds as well as a state-by-state breakdown on the funding.

In a related statement by AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack, he thanked HHS for this additional relief but went on to note that “since this distribution of funding for “hot spots” does not take into account the latest spike in cases and hospitalizations in some parts of the country, we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that additional relief will be distributed to ‘hot spots’ and all hospitals."


July 17, 2020: Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFE) Response to the Public Health Emergency on COVID-19 MLN Article Revised

It seems on an almost weekly basis now MLN SE20011 is being revised. The latest revision updates information on CDC nursing home patients/residents testing and adds clarifying language to the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Benefit Period Waiver – Provider information section.


July 17, 2020: Alabama Medicaid Extends COVID-19 Emergency Expiration Date

Alabama announced in this Alert that “All previously published expiration dates related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency are once again extended by the Alabama Medicaid Agency (Medicaid). The new expiration date is the earlier of August 31, 2020, the conclusion of the COVID-19 National emergency, or any expiration date noticed by the Alabama Medicaid Agency through a subsequent ALERT.”


July 20, 2020: Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination During COVID-19

The OCR announced in a Press Release that they are “issuing guidance to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance understand that they must comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded programs during COVID-19. This Bulletin focuses on recipients' compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI).”


July 28, 2020 – Save the Date: CDC Webinar: COVID-19 and Diabetes: The Importance of Prevention, Management, and Support

My husband, mother and brother all have adult onset diabetes. This puts each one of them at higher risk for severe illness if they were to contract COVID-19. On Tuesday, July 28, 2020 the CDC is hosting a COCA call where presenters will focus on current information available about this increased risk and the importance of diabetes prevention, management and support. Information for participating in this webinar is available on the CDC website at


New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM): COVID-19 Rx: Treatment Solutions

Although this free resource was released on May 19th, in keeping with the education offerings from the FDA Hand Sanitizer Quiz and CDC webinars, I wanted to make you aware of this education resource from the NEJM Group. According to the May NEJM Group anouncement, this series of five COVID-19 interactive cases was “designed to teach clinicians on the frontlines of the pandemic, the detailed cases feature clinical information on each of the five fictional patients. In one, the patient is a young woman who arrives to the emergency room with fever and cough. In another, an elderly man with probable Covid-19 and respiratory distress and a history of hypertension and COPD was transferred to the ICU from an outside hospital.”


Article by Beth Cobb

Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc.  Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. 

In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Risk Assessment (CRA) Tool. You may contact Beth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice.  Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.

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