Coronavirus Update #72
AHCA Guides - Grant & Loan Management and COVID-Related Loss Calculator, Updated Accelerated and Advance Payments FAQ, CMS Calls this Week

To aid members with managing the array of federal grants and loans, AHCA/NCAL has developed a basic primer  (login required) for organizing oversight and day-to-day management of these emergency resources. The guidance includes federal cost reporting guidelines as well as recommended financial management approaches for members. This document is the Association’s first version; updates will be developed as the federal government and states release new or updated guidance.  

To download the Resource Guide, log into the AHCA/NCAL website and go here , or the Finance & Reimbursement section of the COVID-19 webpage

Also, available exclusively to AHCA/NCAL members is a COVID-Related Loss and Cost Calculator (login required). The purpose of this excel workbook is to offer a basic tool for members to assess allowable costs already reimbursed by pre-COVID payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and compare such reimbursement to shortfalls where grants and loans fill funding gaps. This tool will be particularly useful with reporting on and documenting use of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund grants. 

To download the calculator (an Excel workbook), log into the AHCA/NCAL website and go here , or the Finance & Reimbursement section of our COVID-19 webpage

The AHCA Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment FAQs have been updated to reflect the April 26 CMS announcement that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program to Part A facility-based providers (including SNF) and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. 

Specifically impacting SNFs, beginning on April 26, 2020 CMS will be reevaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments submitted by SNFs and other facility-based providers in light of the $175 billion recently appropriated for health care provider relief payments. Significant additional funding will continue to be available to healthcare providers through these other programs.
Reminder: MDH Directive and Order

On Friday night, the Maryland Department of Health issued new directive and order for nursing homes. Even before these guidelines were posted, HFAM has been working with the help of our members, partners at MHA, and hospitals to improve the guidance relative to physician and other medical professional care (section 4D). 

The Guidance includes work we’ve been doing with MHA and CRISP, and the questions we have developed collaboratively with MHA and CRISP.  The expanded questions, which were are in alignment with the direction CMS is heading, are not as the result of our collaborative work in Maryland. Our sector continues to navigate COVID-19 in a time of increasing transparency and government scrutiny.
CRISP Reporting Tool

As we shared recently, our partners at the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and CRISP have been working with post-acute providers and hospitals to streamline nursing home daily bed availability reporting.

Nursing homes can input information via this link:
Testing Options

First Call Medical Center, an urgent care clinic located in Gambrills, is available to provide testing to staff and residents of long-term care centers. Skilled nursing centers and assisted living campuses may set up testing for staff and/or residents in several ways: staff can utilize the urgent care’s drive through testing, the urgent care clinic can set up at your center, or a mix of these options. Please note for staff testing, it is most efficient to send employee information ahead of the testing in order for the clinic to process tests quicker. This testing is available 7 days a week.

In addition, this urgent care clinic has adequate access to PPE and they are even offering to share PPE (including face shields and masks) with other providers.

Please contact Dr. Ron Elfenbein to discuss the testing process and figure out which option works best for your center. Dr. Elfenbein can be reached via email at or via phone at 410-507-9698 (please leave a message if no answer).

Diamond Medical Labs, located in Owings Mills, has the capacity to do in-residence test collection for seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak so that they do not have to go out. Contact Andy Diamond at or  443-992-2782 if there is demand at your center or if you would like additional information.

The Maryland Department of Health Laboratory - click here for more information.
CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 4/27/20

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

Call details are below. Conference lines are limited so you are highly encouraged to join via audio webcast, either on your computer or smartphone web browser. Calls recordings and transcripts are posted on the CMS podcast page HERE .

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern)
Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to:
  • Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals Without Walls;
  • Rapidly Expand the Healthcare Workforce;
  • Put Patients Over Paperwork; and
  • Further Promote Telehealth in Medicare
Tuesday, April 28th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 5787874
Thursday, April 30th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 7476619

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern)
Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their COVID-19 response. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters.

Friday, May 1st at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 877-251-0301; 
Access Code: 9545128

Weekly COVID-19 Care Site-Specific Calls
CMS hosts weekly calls for certain types of organizations to provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance. One to two leaders in the field also share best practices with their peers. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters if time allows.

Home Health and Hospice (Tuesdays at 3:00 PM Eastern)
Tuesday, April 28th at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 1854778
Nursing Homes (Wednesdays at 4:30 PM Eastern)
Wednesday, April 29th at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 4680237

Dialysis Organizations (Wednesdays at 5:30 PM Eastern)
Wednesday, April 29th at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 6965645
Nurses (Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern)
Thursday, April 30th at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 4268398
Did you miss HFAM's previous alerts?

Visit our website to view all previous HFAM alerts, as well as guidance
from our federal and state partners.
Thank you.

We cannot thank you enough for the dedication and diligence in doing all that you can for the residents in your communities. HFAM continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with our state and national partners and will do all we can to support you during this time.