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Coronavirus Response

CMS: States That Don’t Inspect Nursing Homes Will Be Penalized

CMS on Monday (June 1) said it will withhold some CARES Act funds from states that fail to follow oversight requirements on infection control after the agency released public data showing that almost 26,000 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19.

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HHS signaled additional payments could be coming for some high-impact areas that missed the April 10 application deadline, in updated frequently asked questions that clarifies how CMS is disbursing and overseeing the CARES Act provider relief fund.

HHS recently updated its provider relief fund website to confirm it will base $50 billion in COVID-19 relief funding on providers’ share of overall 2018 patient revenue, rather than on 2019 Medicare revenue.

FDA chief Stephen Hahn has asked agency officials to look into whether some of the more flexible and novel approaches FDA has taken to respond to COVID-19, including allowing remote clinical trial visits, using real-world evidence to make certain regulatory decisions and streamlining lab test approvals, could be applied more broadly and on a more permanent basis.

FDA has created a voluntary online form through which certain FDA-regulated food facilities can report a temporary stop or significant slowdown in production during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as request help from the agency on how to safely continue or restart food production.

Some states are using lottery-like systems to allocate remdesivir to hospitals as an ethical way to ration supplies of the only drug shown to help treat COVID-19, according to interviews with several state health officials.

The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, will extend its policy of providing treatment for COVID-19 without cost-sharing through July 24, a spokesperson tells Inside Health Policy.

Medicaid directors are asking CMS to extend otherwise expiring 1115 waivers and innovation center demonstration reporting timeframes, as well as provide states with more time to meet certain regulatory requirements around home-and-community-based care settings and CMS’ interoperability rule due to the pandemic.

The Federation of American Hospitals is urging the Senate to quickly pass another COVID-19 response bill, saying some providers will soon see their Medicare pay garnished to pay back loans unless Congress makes CMS’ programs more flexible.

FDA on Friday (May 29) published a voluntary Emergency Use Authorization template for COVID-19 at-home sample collection kits.

FDA on Friday (May 29) took several steps to improve and ramp up use of the agency’s Orange Book in a bid to provide more timely and accurate information about generic drugs and spur generic drug competition.