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10/12/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, October 13 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CMS announces new repayment terms for Medicare accelerated or advance payment loans made to providers during COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) program, following recent Congressional action. Repayment will now begin one year from the issuance date of each provider's or supplier’s accelerated or advance payment. After the first year, Medicare will automatically recoup 25% of Medicare payments for 11 months, with an increase to 50% for another 6 months. If the provider or supplier is unable to repay the total amount of the AAP during this time-period (a total of 29 months), CMS will issue letters requiring repayment of any outstanding balance, subject to an interest rate of 4%.

There is an option for an extended repayment schedule (ERS) for providers and suppliers who are experiencing financial hardship. The ERS option is a debt installment payment plan that allows a provider or supplier to pay debts over the course of 3 years, or up to 5 years in the case of extreme hardship.

To allow even more flexibility in paying back the loans, according to the news release, the $175 billion issued in provider relief funds can be used towards repayment of these Medicare loans.  CMS will be communicating with each provider and supplier in the coming weeks as to the repayment terms and amounts owed as applicable for any accelerated or advance payment issued.  This is an interesting development as providers that did not request or accept an advance payment would not be eligible for using provider relief funds for payments of debt whereas it appears those providers which requested and accepted advance payments could have debt essentially forgiven, or a portion forgiven.

To allow even more flexibility in paying back the loans, the $175 billion issued in provider relief funds can be used towards repayment of these Medicare loans. CMS will be communicating with each provider and supplier in the coming weeks as to the repayment terms and amounts owed as applicable for any accelerated or advance payment issued.

For more information, see the CMS Fact Sheet and FAQs on this topic.

Upcoming CMS COVID-19 office hours calls

On Tuesday, October 13 and October 27, from 5:00-6:00 PM, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be offering Office Hours Calls for hospitals, health systems, and providers. Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for 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. Please note conference call lines are limited.

Tuesday, October 13 call information:
Toll-Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820
Access Passcode: 6379959
Audio Webcast information available by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 27
Save the date; dial in to be provided later in October.

LeadingAge Ohio's Fall Education Fest... You can still attend!

The LeadingAge Ohio Fall Education Fest is underway and members are reporting great value for this virtual education series. Whatever your individual role, there is a specific education track to fit your needs. Four unique educational tracks have been planned for leadership, clinicians, administrators, nurses and front line staff. Special group pricing provides great value and offers something for everyone in joining this one-of-a-kind virtual event. Sessions are underway, but there are still many opportunities for learning and professional development to come.

For complete details and to register, please click here.

Visitation Dashboard Access

Providers are reminded to access the newly created Ohio Visitation Dashboard using Google Chrome. One LeadingAge Ohio member reported that when adding a visitation time, it would delete the prior time entered. The problem was solved when this individual changed browsers. ODH notes that Internet Explorer may not provide full functionality of the site. Use an updated version of Google Chrome to access the dashboard. Please direct any questions/problems to Kathryn Brod at kbrod@leadingageohio.org.

RCD non-affirmations, coding, acceptable documentation, and related subjects webinar

Ohio home health providers are urged to participate in this webinar about the Palmetto GBA Medical Reviewer's perspective of the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD). Don't miss out on the opportunity to hear from the RCD Medical Review staff!

Date: October 14
Time: 1:00 PM EST
Registration link is available by clicking here.

Thousands of Ohio providers have not claimed CRF payments

LeadingAge Ohio encourages all members to ensure they have claimed the coronavirus provider relief funds (CRF) available through the state of Ohio Office of Budget & Management. As reported in earlier COVID-19 reports, Ohio set aside over $400 million to make payments to nursing homes, assisted living, MyCare Ohio, PASSPORT and other providers. While the vast majority of Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living have applied for the many funds, smaller percentages of home care providers have applied. Furthermore, many providers received funds allotted for one service line, but did not apply for another service line. For example, many members appear to have received payments for nursing homes, but not for their assisted living sites. Another example is providers that may have received payments on a per-bed basis for assisted living, but may not have received payments for assisted living under the MyCare Ohio program.

LeadingAge Ohio is in the process of reaching out to all members who have not yet applied for the CRF funds, to ensure it was not an oversight. If you have a question about whether your organization may have CRF funds that could be applied for, please email Susan Wallace at swallace@leadingageohio.org.

Social Security's 2021 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Announced

Today the Social Security Administration (SSA) released the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. SSA announced that monthly Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments will increase 1.3 percent in 2021.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – October 13, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured an update on the membership-only leadership virtual retreat and nominations are open for the 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity.

Check out the full report here.

                Linkage                         Buerger


Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members.  To participate in these daily online updates, members should register here.  

LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information. 

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.