Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 17

Posted on August 21, 2020

MHA Coronavirus UpdateThe MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

New COVID-19 Viral Testing Required for Medicare Add-on Payment

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for a 20% add-on to the inpatient prospective payment system diagnosis-related group rate for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 for the duration of the public health emergency. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated its guidance related to this add-on payment.

For inpatient admissions occurring on or after Sept. 1, 2020, claims eligible for the 20% add-on must have a positive COVID-19 laboratory test documented in the medical record. This is in addition to previously required International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) diagnosis codes.

While the CMS will continue to apply the 20% payment add-on based on the diagnosis codes noted in the guidance, it may conduct post-payment medical reviews to confirm the presence of a positive COVID-19 test in the medical record. If no such test is present, the additional payment resulting from the 20% add-on will be recouped.

Members with questions may contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

Update on CMS Survey Activity

The CMS also issued an update on resuming survey activities of healthcare facilities. The guidance encourages states to resume survey activity for non-long-term care settings. It provides some detail about the areas of focus of these surveys, how states should approach surveys underway prior to the public health emergency, long-term care settings and more. Members are encouraged to review the guidance for additional details as they prepare for future survey activity.

In follow-up to this CMS guidance and as an update since the webinar that the MHA hosted with The Joint Commission in mid-June, the commission has outlined the latest on its surveyor recovery plan and approach to telehealth.

The information from both the CMS and The Joint Commission are available through the Aug. 20 update the MHA emailed to members.

Testing Requirement for Department of Corrections Staff

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Aug. 19 issued an Emergency Order requiring COVID-19 testing for Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) staff. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also recently issued Executive Order 2020-170 to require that prisons and jails take preventive measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19, including testing at entry, transfer and release of any prisoner.

Under the Aug. 19 Emergency Order, which took immediate effect, prisons operated by the MDOC must use testing protocols for anyone who works within the physical boundaries of the prison or comes into contact with prisoners while on the job. All prisons operated by the MDOC must take specific mitigation steps immediately when a staff person tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to the virus.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpage. Questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the MDHHS Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC). Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members:


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  • Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 17

Tags: Medicare, survey, Joint Commission, CMS, MDHHS, Appel, Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, Whitmer, Bogan, Sudderth, Wood, add-on, laboratory test, Kunz, corrections, MDOC

Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare

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