Sent to all dialysis facility leadership and disaster contacts in NY State with valid email addresses in CROWNWeb, and all Emergency partners and stakeholders in the Network Service Area.
COVID-19 Updated Guidance & Resources
CDC Guidance on Evaluating and Testing Persons for
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new HAN Health Alert on the COVID-19 Coronavirus, titled Updated Guidance on Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) .  Find it at  https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2020/han00429.asp

An excerpt:
March 08, 2020, 8:20 PM ET
CDCHAN-00429

"COVID-19 diagnostic testing, authorized by the FDA under an EUA, is becoming available in clinical laboratories. This additional testing capacity will allow clinicians to consider COVID-19 testing for a wider group of symptomatic patients. Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested."

COVID-19 Response: CMS Issues FAQs to Assist Medicare Providers

On March 6, CMS issued  frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs)   for health care providers regarding Medicare payment for laboratory tests and other services related to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The agency is receiving questions from providers and created this document to be transparent and share answers to some of the most common questions.

Included in the FAQs is:
  • Guidance on how to bill and receive payment for testing patients at risk of COVID-19.
  • Details of Medicare’s payment policies for laboratory and diagnostic services, drugs, and vaccines under Medicare Part B, ambulance services, and other medical services delivered by physicians, hospitals, and facilities accepting government resources.
  • Information on billing for telehealth or in-home provider services. Since 2019, the Trump Administration has expanded flexibilities for CMS to pay providers for virtual check-ins and other digital communications with patients, which will make it easier for sick patients to stay home and lower the risk of spreading the infection.

This FAQ, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work CMS is doing in response to COVID-19, visit the  Current Emergencies  website. 

Below is an updated list of CMS’ actions to date:
  • March 5: Issued a second Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for certain COVID-19 laboratory tests, in addition to three fact sheets about coverage and benefits for medical services related to COVID-19 for CMS programs 
  • March 4: Issued a call to action to health care providers nationwide and offered important guidance to help State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations prioritize their inspections of healthcare
  • February 13: Issued a new HCPCS code for providers and laboratories to test patients for COVID-19 
  • February 6: Gave CLIA-certified laboratories information about how they can test for SARS-CoV-2
  • February 6: Issued a memo to help the nation’s health care facilities take critical steps to prepare for COVID-19 
NYC Additional Guidance on Community Best Practices

Notification issued 03-09-2020 at 10:04 AM.
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued additional guidance on best practices that can help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information on the City's response, visit:  https://on.nyc.gov/2TOFnsB .
 
For updates on coronavirus, text COVID to 692-692.
 
For Coronavirus preparedness tips and safety info, visit:  www.NYC.gov/coronavirus .
Additional Updates:
The Transplantation Society has issued Guidance for Transplant Clinicians on COVID-19; find it at  https://tts.org/tid-about/tid-presidents-message/23-tid/tid-news/657-tid-update-and-guidance-on-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-for-transplant-id-clinicians .

ANNA has listed useful COVID-19 Information and Resources at  https://www.annanurse.org/article/coronavirus .

The Nephrology Social Media Collective's NephronPower blog reports on the experience in China with dialysis patients and COVID-19, at  http://www.nephronpower.com/2020/03/topic-discussion-covid-19-and-kidney.html .

The FDA will allow health care personnel to use industrial N95 respirators approved by NIOSH during the COVID-19 outbreak; see  https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-and-cdc-take-action-increase-access-respirators-including-n95s .
New York State
Health Commerce System
(NYSHCS)
New York State dialysis providers should be receiving updates from the DOH via the  Health Commerce System . If your facility does not already have an active HC account (for NYPORTS) please see this website for instructions on creating an account: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/information_system/providers/hpn_account_instructions.htm