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COVID-19 in the News April 6th through April 12th, 2021

Published on 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

 | Coding 
 | Quality 

This week we highlight key updates spanning from April 6th through April 12th, 2021.

Resource Spotlight: WPS YouTube Video: New COVID-19 Condition Codes for Billing Vaccines/Monoclonal Antibody Infusions

WPS, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdictions 5 and 8, has published a New COVID-19 Condition Codes YouTube video, which includes information on the new condition codes required when billing for COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibody infusions.

April 6, 2021: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 Self-Collected Antibody Test System

The FDA announced that they issued a EUA to Symbiotica, Inc., for the COVID-19 Self-Collected Antibody Test System. This test requires a prescription from a health care provider, is intended as an aid in identifying individuals who have had an “adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating the person may have had a recent or previous COVID-19 infection. Samples collected at home are sent to a Symbiotica, Inc. laboratory for analysis.”

April 8, 2021: Revised MLN Booklet: Hospital Value Based Purchasing

In the Thursday April 8, 2021 MLN Connects newsletter, CMS noted that they have updated the MLN Booklet titled Hospital Value Based Purchasing. CMS made the following content updates to this booklet:

  • Added information on relief for clinicians, providers, hospitals, and facilities participating in quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs due to the COVID-19 public health emergency,
  • Added Hospital VBP domains and relative weights for FYS 2018-2023,
  • Revised Hospital VPB measures for FYS 2021-2023, and
  • Revised baseline and performance periods for FYs 2021-2023.
April 8, 2021: CMS Memorandum: Updates to Long-Term Care (LTC) Emergency Regulatory Waivers Issued in Response to COVID-19

CMS released this memorandum to State Survey Agency Directors. In the memorandum summary, CMS indicated they are ending the following waivers for nursing homes:

  • The emergency blanket waivers related to notification of Resident Room or Roommate changes, and Transfer and Discharge notification requirements:
    • The emergency blanket waiver for certain care planning requirements for residents transferred or discharged for cohorting purposes, and
    • The emergency blanket waiver of the timeframe requirements for completing and transmitting resident assessment information (Minimum Data Set (MDS).
April 9, 2021: CDC’s Understanding Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines Webpage Updated

There has been confusion and distrust reported in the news and anecdotally on social media regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, there has been concerns about the COVID-19 virus being in the vaccine. The CDC’s Understanding Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines webpage currently starts with providing the following “What You Need to Know” information:

  • “Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells.
  • The benefit of viral vector vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.”

Also available on this webpage is a printable infographic titled “How Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines Work.”

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.