The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have been issuing updates regarding Medicare benefits with regard to COVID-19. Information from the federal government is posted below:
- Federal declaration: When the President declares a disaster or emergency under the Stafford Act or National Emergencies Act and the HHS Secretary declares a public health emergency under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary is authorized to take certain actions in addition to her regular authorities. The AAPA has put together a helpful overview on the 1135 waivers and what they look like. Click here to download that document.
- Telemedicine: CMS has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their providers without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Click here to read the fact sheet on this.
- CMS’s TeleHealth Toolkit: CMS has created toolkits on telehealth that contain electronic links to reliable sources of information on telehealth and telemedicine. They are intended to reduce the amount of time providers spend searching for answers and increase their time with patients. Many of these links will help providers learn about the general concept of telehealth, choose telemedicine vendors, initiate a telemedicine program, monitor patients remotely, and develop documentation tools. Additionally, the information contained within each toolkit will also outline temporary virtual services that could be used to treat patients during this specific period of time. Click here to download the toolkit.
- Small Business Loans: If you own your own clinic, you may be eligible for a small business loan under the economic package passed by Congress this week. Visit the Small Business Administration’s website at www.sba.gov.
- State of Emergency: Gov. Bill Lee declares a state of emergency with regard to COVID-19. Click here to download the full text of the executive order.
- Supervision/Collaboration Requirements Waived: Gov. Lee issued Executive Order #15, which waives supervision requirements for PAs. This will allow flexibility for PAs responding to this healthcare crisis. Click here to download the full text of the executive order.
- TennCare: The Bureau of TennCare has issued guidance regarding COVID-19 testing and telehealth services for TennCare enrollees. Click here to download the memo. Click here to download the memo for behavioral healthcare providers.
- Emergency TANF Cash Assistance: If you have been laid off, furloughed or had your hours cut by 50% because of COVID-19, you can receive cash assistance from the Tennessee Department of Human Services. This assistance is available in addition to any unemployment benefits an individual may be receiving. Click here for more information.
- Weekly Updates: The Tennessee Department of Health has started issuing weekly updates on COVID-19. As those updates are distributed, TAPA will post them online so that PAs across the state will have access to this information.