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COVID-19 in the News November 19th - 30th

Published on 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

MMP remains committed to continuing to monitor for COVID-19 updates specific to our reader base. This week we highlight key updates spanning from November 19th through the 30th.  

Resource Spotlight: Accessing COVID-19 Lab Testing and Vaccine CPT Codes

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced on November 10th new codes for immunizations for COVID-19. Note, the “CPT codes are unique for each of two coronavirus vaccines as well as administration codes unique to each such vaccine. The new CPT codes clinically distinguish each coronavirus vaccine for better tracking, reporting and analysis that supports data-driven planning and allocation.” From this AMA webpage ( you can access a file with the new CPT codes for testing and vaccine products and vaccine administrations.

November 19, 2020: FDA Authorizes Drug Combination for Treatment of COVID-19

The FDA announced in a News Release  that an emergency use authorization (EUA) has been issued for the drug baricitinib (Olumiant), in combination with remdesivir (Veklury), for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients two years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).”

November 19, 2020: Alabama Board of Nursing Emergency Rule for Administering Vaccines

The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) announced emergency rule ABN Administrative Code §610-X-4-.16 ER allowing nurses with a retired or lapsed licenses “to administer vaccines during a declared state or national pandemic, provided that the individual nurse’s license was otherwise in good standing at the time of lapse or retirement. A permanent version of the same rule, which is intended to assist the healthcare community in rapidly deploying vaccinations for COVID-19 and any subsequent pandemics, will be published for public comment on November 30, 2020, after which the Board will certify the permanent change.”

November 20, 2020: New Condition Codes for Services Provided as Part of Expanded Access (EA) Approval and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

CMS Change Request (CR) 12049 implements the newly created condition code “90” in order to allow providers to report when the service is provided as part of an Expanded Access approval and condition code “91” in order to allow providers to report when the service is provided as part of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The new codes will be effective for claims received on or after February 1, 2021.

November 20, 2020: Palmetto posts COVID-19 Allowances for Laboratory Test Codes

Palmetto GBA notes that CMS established new codes for lab test for COVID-19 and provided pricing for codes U0001 and U0002. However, MACs were instructed to develop the allowance for the remaining codes. This Palmetto GBA article includes a listing of the codes and the code allowance.

November 21, 2020: EUA for Casirivimab and Imdevimab

The FDA posted a News Release regarding an EUA “for casirivimab and imdevimab to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds">Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register and will be accepting comments through their portal no later than midnight Eastern Time (ERT) on December 24, 2020. The summary statement in this document indicates that HHS is seeking “to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of changes adopted by health care systems and health care providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many healthcare systems and clinicians have rapidly reengineered their policies and programs to improve access, safety, quality, outcomes including mortality and morbidity, cost, and value for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related medical conditions. HHS plans to identify and learn from effective innovative approaches and best practices implemented by non-HHS organizations in order to inform HHS priorities and programs.”

November 24, 2020: FDA Publishes New Webpage – Face Masks, Surgical Masks, and Respirators for COVID-19

The FDA indicated in their November 24 Daily Update that this new webpage is “a comprehensive new page on with answers to frequently asked questions about face masks, surgical masks and respirators.

November 25, 2020: CMS’ Comprehensive Strategy to Enhance Hospital Capacity Amid COVID-19 Surge

CMS announced “comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations across the country.” One example is the expansion of Hospitals without Walls to include an innovative Acute Hospital Care At Home program. The CMS Press Release announcing these steps also includes links to the Acute Hospital Care At Home initiative and application, a link to more ambulatory surgical center flexibilities, comments from hospitals already participating in the Acute Hospital Care at Home program and a link to related FAQs.

CDC COVID Data Tracker – United States COVID-19 Cases

Data DateTotal CasesTotal DeathsCases in Last 7 Days
September 8, 20206,287,362188,688282,919
October 5, 20207,396,730209,199301,438
November 2, 20209,182,628230,383565,607
November 9, 20209,913,553237,037764,280
November 12, 202010,314,254241,069883,827
November 24, 202012,333,452257,0161,197,200
November 30, 202013,142,997265,1661,114,930
Resource: CDC COVID Data Tracker at
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.