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COVID-19 in the News April 27th through May 3rd, 2021

Published on 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

 | Coding 
 | Quality 

This week we highlight key updates spanning from April 27th through May 3rd, 2021.

Spotlight: Noridian JF Ask the Contractor (ACT) Question and Answer: Targeted Probe & Educate during the Pandemic

Noridian JF recently posted Questions and Answers from their January ACT Call (link). Following is an excerpt from one of the Q&A’s regarding the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) program:

“Q8: Our facility has not received a Targeted Probe and Education (TPE) audit or an Additional Documentation Request (ADR) since the pandemic started. Can Noridian please clarify whether these audits have been restarted?
A8: MACs have not received direction from CMS to resume TPE audits. Currently MACs are conducting service specific claim reviews. More information can be found on Noridian’s Medical Review webpage under Post-Pay Reviews. Individual providers will be notified if they have an open, pending TPE file when we have direction from CMS to resume TPE activities.”
April 26, 2021: QW Modifier Added to HCPCS 87636

CMS published MLN MM12269 (link) to inform providers of the addition of the QW modifier to HCPCS code 87636 [Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) and influenza type virus types A and B, multiplex amplified probe technique].

CMS ends this MLN article by noting that “claims for tests you perform in facilities having a CLIA certificate of waiver must include the QW modifier. MACs won’t search their files to either retract payment for claims already paid or to retroactively pay claims. However, they will adjust claims you bring to their attention.”

April 27, 2021: CDC Clinical Outreach & Communication Activity Call: Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and TTS Update for Clinicians

The CDC conducted an initial call related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia (CVST) on April 15, 2021. The April 27th call provided updates for clinicians about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) (link). For those that missed this call, the CDC webpage for this call includes a video of the session and call materials.

April 27, 2021: Memorandum Update to Interim Final Rule – Additional Policy & Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 PHD related to Long-Term care Facility Testing Requirements and Revised COVID-19 Focused Survey Tool e

CMS has updated this Memorandum (link) that was initially provided to State Survey Agency Directors in August of 2020. CMS has revised the COVID-19 Focused Survey Tool for surveyors. They “are also adding to the survey process the assessment of compliance with the requirements for facilities to designate one or more individual(s) as the infection preventionist(s) (IPs) who are responsible for the facility's infection prevention and control program (IPCP) at 42 CFR § 483.80(b).” Additionally, they “are making a number of revisions to the survey tool to reflect other COVID-19 guidance updates.”

April 29, 2021: Expanding COVID-19 Training and Support for Health Centers

HHS announced (link) that 122 organizations, including Primary Care Associations (PCAs), National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs), have been awarded $32 million to “use the funds to provide health centers with critical COVID-19 related training, technical assistance, and health information technology.” This was made possible through the American Rescue Plan.

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.