COVID-19 in the News May 26th – June 1st

on Tuesday, 02 June 2020. All News Items | Case Management | Documentation | Coding

The Joint Commission to Resume some Survey and Review Activities in June and new FAQS available in the CMS COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing

MMP remains committed to continuing to monitor for COVID-19 updates specific to our reader base. This week we highlight key updates spanning from May 26th – June 1st 2020.   

Resource Spotlight This Week:

This week’s spotlight is the CDC’s CDC COVID Data Tracker. The Data Tracker includes maps, charts, and data on the following:

  • S. Cases of COVID-19,
  • S. COVID Testing,
  • S. Forecasting,
  • S. Trends,
  • S. Cases and Deaths by County,
  • Social Impact,
  • School Closures, Mobility, and
  • A “Learn More” tab covering topics ranging from COVID-19 FAQs and hospitalization rates to information on the use of cloth face coverings to daily life and coping.

May 26, 2020: Fact Sheet for State and Local Governments – CMS Programs & Payment for Care in Hospital Alternate Care Sites (ACS)

In order to expand capacity to care for patients during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) alternate care sites are being developed. CMS indicates that the purpose of this Fact Sheet is to provide “state and local governments developing alternate care sites with information on how to seek payments through CMS programs – Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – for acute inpatient and outpatient care furnished at the site.”

May 27, 2020: The Joint Commission to Resume some Survey and Review Activities in June

The Joint Commission announced in their Wednesday May 27 Edition of Joint Commission Online that they are “committed to working closely with organizations, with safety being the first and foremost priority. As we start to resume some of these survey and review activities, account executives will begin to contact organizations due for a survey to assess the impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on their operations and their current state.”

They go on to note “our survey will focus on a thorough assessment but will not retroactively review compliance…rather, we will work to understand how you have adapted to the pandemic and review your current practices to assure you are providing safe care and working in a safe environment.”

May 27, 2020: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

CMS has once again updated this now seventy-one page FAQ document. In addition to now containing a table of contents, new FAQS have been posted for the following topics:

  • Hospital IPPS Payments under the CARES Act,
  • Expansion of Virtual Communication Services for FQHCs/RHCs,
  • Medicare telehealth,
  • General Billing Requirements, specifically related to COVID-19 testing administered prior to and in association with a procedure.

Also, the following three new sections have been added to this document:

  • Diagnosis Coding under ICD-10-CM,
  • Chronic Care Management Services, and
  • Outpatient Therapy Services

May 29, 2020: Alabama Medicaid Alert: Additional Laboratory Testing for COVID-19

Alabama Medicaid announced in a May 29th Alert that Providers may begin submitting claims on June 1, 2020, for dates of service on or after April 1, 2020 for the following testing procedure codes:

  • 86328 Immunoassay for infectious agent antibody (ies), qualitative or semi quantitative, single step method (e.g., reagent strip); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]).
  • 86769 Antibody; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]).

June 1, 2020: CDC Updates COVID-19 Transmission Webpage to Clarify Information about Types of Spread

The CDC announced in an email update that “after media reports appeared that suggested a change in CDC’s view on transmissibility, it became clear that these edits were confusion. Therefore, CDC has once again edited the page to provide clarity. 

The primary and most important mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person. Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” This page also includes a link to a video titled “How does COVID-19 Spread?”

June 1, 2020: Medicare Fee-for-Service Response to the Public Emergency on COVID-19 MLN Article Revised

CMS revised MLN SE20011 on June 1st to add a section on Clarifications for using the “CR” Modifier and “DR” Condition Code. All other information remained the same.

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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