COVID 19: New and Updated Information and Resources
NJAASC has curated authoritative information and a list of resources for our Membership’s reference. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.
 
PAST COVID E-BLAST HAVE BEEN ARCHIVED DUE TO SPACE RESTRAINTS AND TO KEEP THINGS CURRENT.
 
TO VIEW PREVIOUS E-BLASTS, CLICK HERE
REVISED, ED 20-016 FROM 7/29/20- CLICK HERE


CONFERENCE CALL WITH DOH REGARDING ANTIGEN TESTING – 8/27/20
All:
Today we had a call with the Department as regards allowing Antigen testing for pre-op screening for elective surgery n ASCs.
Dr. Adinaro and Dr. Kirn were on the call they were engaged and asked a lot of questions.
 
With the advances in testing, our argument was that it is time for the Department to evolve as well with what type of testing they allow.
What we have now was fine back in March and April for instance- as everyone was quarantined in their house anyway, but with things opening up (gyms next week for instance) it becomes more problematic for ASCs to be certain that patients have indeed quarantined, maintained quarantine.
People are back working and cannot afford to take time off, there are more things -outside, to do. This bodes ill for maintaining a quarantine. We also pointed out that with some procedures- screening colonoscopy for instance patients are reluctant to jump thru the testing requirement hoops to get a procedure that is for screening only, not for something for which the patient has symptoms. We are concerned that they just decide to put it off- not have it done. 
This is about patient safety. As long as test results are tied to quarantine, the longer the time from testing to procedure, the more likely for the patient to become symptomatic.   We made this point to the doctors who both did not realize the time frame and tie in.
We need to be able to use a test that gets us results quickly, and cut down the time between testing and procedure as much as possible.
 
We also explained to them the evolution of the EO thru several ED revisions- from four days with retest if no results , to six days with retest if no results, to now Option #1- no retest if results not received after six days, but maintain quarantine.
This same sort of evolution now needs to be applied as regards what testing can be used.  
 
The Department said they would discuss internally and get back to me with their conclusions.
We feel good about this, but until there is a definite answer from them, please continue with what you are doing- follow the current ED.
 
Jeff  


NEW CDC GUIDELINES FOR CORONAVIRUS TESTING – 8/27/20
The CDC issued new guidelines for COVID testing- specifically as regards to who needs to be tested and re-tested.



Q &A FROM DEPARTMENT- WHO CAN PERFORM COVID TESTING OF PATIENTS – 8/27/20
Q: Jeff. Is there any way to find out who can be testing/swabbing the patients? Should it be an RN or a medical assistant is also allowed?
 
A: Executive Directive No 20-003 Covid Testing through Swabbing defines a health care provider as:
 
WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 26:13-2 defines a "health care provider" as any person who provides
health care services, including perfusionists, physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists,
dentists, nurses, paramedics, respiratory care practitioners, medical or laboratory
technicians, and emergency medical technicians; and…


ABBOTT FAST ANTIGEN TEST RECEIVES FDA AUTHORIZATION - 8/27/20
The FDA approved Abbots latest Rapid Antigen test.
Portable-the size of a credit card, it requires no special instrumentation and results in 15 minutes. Abbot says the price will be $5.00.
A mobile app will be issued to everyone so they can get their results and use it to provide proof of test to health care providers.



STATE QUARANTINE LIST SHRINKS FOR THE FIRST TIME – 8/27/20
For the first time since initiated, the state’s list of quarantine states for travel has shrunk- considerably.



HHS Announces Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Fund Recipients and Final Date To Use Funds – 8/27/20
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a public notice that recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate will be required to submit a report on the provider’s use of the funds, no later than July 31, 2021, demonstrating compliance with the Terms and Conditions to which providers attested. Providers will need to submit documentation to substantiate that the funds were used for increased healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to coronavirus. Details of the reporting requirements, originally scheduled for release on August 17, 2020, will be released in the coming weeks.
HHS has also clarified that it expects providers to fully expend their Provider Relief payment(s) by July 31, 2021. 
The reporting requirements will apply to providers who received grant payments from any phase of the Medicare General Distribution payments; the Medicaid, Dental & CHIP Targeted Distributions; and any of the other Targeted Distribution payments. 
An online reporting system will become available to Provider Relief Fund recipients on October 1, 2020. Within 45 days of the end of calendar year 2020, recipients must report on their expenditures through the period ending December 31, 2020. Recipients who have expended funds in full prior to December 31, 2020 may submit a single final report at any time during the period October 1, 2020 through February 15, 2021. Recipients with funds unexpended after December 31, 2020, must submit a second and final report no later than July 31, 2021. Detailed reporting instructions and a data collection template with the necessary data elements will be available through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website and at the Provider Relief Fund webpage before October 1, 2020.



Questions? Contact Jeff Shanton at jshanton@jssurgctr.com