COVID-19 UPDATE #68
August 13, 2020
CMS SPECIAL CALL FOR SNF PROVIDERS THIS MORNING
CMS Administrator Verma is hosting a special National Nursing Home call this morning at 10:30 AM PST. Phone lines are limited, so CMS highly encourages people to join via webcast. Call information is below:

Thursday, August 13
10:30 AM PST
Participant Dial-In Number: (833) 614-0820 
Conference ID: 1964786
HHS OPENS CHOW PORTAL AND POSTS UPDATED RESOURCES FOR PROVIDERS
Starting August 10, providers who underwent a Change of Ownership (CHOW) and providers who missed the June 3, 2020, deadline to apply for additional funding equal to 2 percent of their total patient care revenue from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 General Distribution may submit their application for possible funds by August 28, 2020. This deadline aligns with the extended deadline for other eligible Phase 2 providers, such as Medicaid.

Latest Eligible Providers for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding
Providers who were ineligible for the Phase 1 General Distribution because:
  • They underwent a change in ownership in calendar year 2019 or 2020 under Medicare Part a; and
  • Did not have Medicare Fee-for-Service revenue in 2019.

Providers who received a payment under Phase 1 General Distribution but:
  • Missed the June 3 deadline to submit revenue information – including many Medicaid providers with low Medicare revenues that assumed they were ineligible for additional distribution targeted at Medicare providers or had planned to apply for a Medicaid and CHIP specific distribution; or
  • Did not receive Phase 1 General Distribution payments totaling approximately 2 percent of their annual patient revenue.

Providers who previously received Phase 1 General Distribution payment(s) but rejected and returned the funds and are now interested in reapplying.

HHS notes eligible providers will only receive funding of up to 2 percent of their reported total revenue from patient care. Therefore, for providers who have already received a Phase 1 General Distribution payment from HHS, the previous amount received and kept will be taken into account when determining the eligible amount for Phase 2 General Distribution payment. All payment recipients must accept HHS’s terms and conditions and may be subject to auditing to ensure the data provided to HHS for payment calculation are accurate.

HHS has been hosting a series of informational webinars to address questions and support providers through the application process. The next provider and provider organization webinar will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

On August 11, HHS changed terminology describing various Provider Relief Fund allocations and added FAQs on availability of Medicaid awards.
DSHS WEBINAR EXPLAINS EMERGENCY MEDICAID FUNDS ALLOCATION FOR ASSISTED LIVING - JULY 1 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
On August 10, DSHS hosted a webinar for residential care providers related to Medicaid emergency add-on payments for COVID-19 mitigation. Medicaid contracted providers first started receiving emergency funds for the March1 – June 30, 2020, period. The funding is being renewed at the rate of $4.79 per Medicaid resident day for July 1 – September 30, 2020. Click here for slides detailing the application process. DSHS will authorize these rates with a “bulk authorization” for all providers that have an authorization to provide personal care services. All residential providers that had an authorization for personal care dating back to July 1, 2020, will receive a second authorization for “Pandemic-related Extraordinary Service.”

Case Managers will authorize the new add-ons for new clients moving forward. The Health Care Authority is charged with coordinating payment—likely in the next two weeks. Providers should monitor ProviderOne accounts for authorization information.

Retainer Payments
In certain cases, providers may bill for “retainer payments,” which are payments to providers made in lieu of normal payment for services when the provider is prevented from delivering services for one of the reasons detailed below:

  • If the provider was prevented from providing services to a Medicaid client due to the provider temporarily closing in response to local, state, federal, or medical requirements or orders; or
  • The provider was prevented from providing services to a Medicaid resident due to the client temporarily leaving the facility because of a positive or suspect COVID-19 diagnosis; AND

Additionally, to receive a retainer payment, the following requirements must also apply:
  • The client is likely to return,
  • The provider holds the Medicaid resident bed or unit for the period of the retainer payment that is paid, and
  • The facility provided care to the resident at some point during the public health emergency and prior to needing the retainer payment.

Retainer payments MUST BE APPROVED by a CASE MANAGER before authorized.
Providers must NOT claim a retainer payment for any Medicaid resident on the same date for which a service is provided. Claiming a retainer payment while also claiming for the provision of care to a resident will result in overpayment. In addition to the requirements above, the provider must also sign an Attestation Form.

Claims Submission Resources
Provider Billing Guides can be found here.
DOH PROVIDES RESOURCES FOR UNIVERSAL TESTING IN ASSISTED LIVING
The Department of Health (DOH) recently hosted a webinar on the universal testing initiative in assisted living. They are providing a copy of the slides and a link to the recording for providers who may not have been able to participate at the time it was offered.

In addition, DOH is providing a few additional resources that may be helpful in this initiative:

To make sure your questions are answered as quickly as possible, providers can send inquiries as follows:
HOW EMPLOYERS SHOULD IMPLEMENT THE PRESIDENT'S PAYROLL TAX RELIEF FOR EMPLOYEES
The stalemate in Congress over supplemental unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, and President Trump’s most recent proclamations of relief, leave employers caught in the middle. A key proponent of the President’s initiative includes a Social Security tax holiday for employees, but that effort is causing chaos not only because it may not be enforceable but also because it tries to defer but does not (and cannot) eliminate the tax obligation. Accordingly, it leaves employers both confused on how to implement and vulnerable to penalties if they get it wrong. For now, the best approach is to do nothing. Learn more about what the Memorandum does and doesn’t do. Special thanks to Lane Powell for providing this article.
DIALYSIS TREATMENT FOR LONG TERM CARE RESIDENTS DURING COVID-19
Long term care providers have identified some challenges in working with dialysis centers to manage COVID-19 risks for residents who require dialysis, and AHCA/NCAL has identified potential solutions that may be helpful to minimize risk and improve outcomes. Read more.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
WHCA continues to post resources and information as it becomes available on our website. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the WHCA office at (800) 562-6170.