Register Today for the 2020 VMS Collaborative Virtual Meeting - Nov. 7, 2020
Held In collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association.
Please join us for the 2020 VMS Annual Meeting, as collaboration with our colleagues and peers is more valuable than ever during this incredibly challenging year. Register here, as the this year's Collaborative Meeting is sure to be different than any other VMS meeting to date. To start, this year's meeting will be held virtually (short commute) and the schedule has been significantly reduced to one day. Even though we won't be there in-person, the 207th VMS Annual Meeting will provide ample opportunities for meaningful policy work, engaging CME sessions and spontaneous laughter and fun. Click to learn more and register today.
Hazard Pay Grant Program Application Online Portal - Open Now
The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program application portal opened this morning, Tuesday August 4th, at 9 AM EST. Employers who are eligible applicants may submit applications for a lump sum grant award to distribute hazard pay to their eligible employees. The link to the application portal is here. As a reminder, funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis so employers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Hazard Pay Program Guidance and Application Instructions, including the required Summary Report of Eligible Employees are located here. If you have questions after reviewing the guidance documents, please use the online question submission form and AHS staff will respond as quickly as possible.
Applications for Provider Stabilization Grant Program Due August 15
The Agency of Human Services (AHS) is currently accepting applications for the Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program through August 15, 2020. This Program been made available to the State of Vermont through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and eligible health care and human service providers may use the application to seek grant funding for both COVID-19-related lost revenue and COVID-19-specific incurred expenses. For more information please review the guidance documents available on the Department of Vermont Health Access website, including FAQs and links to informational webinars.
President Trump Signs Order to Expand Medicare Coverage of Telehealth
On Monday, August 3, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at extending beyond the federal public health emergency Medicare coverage of telehealth services for patients who live in rural communities. The order directs the Secretary of HHS to review the telehealth services offered to Medicare beneficiaries under the emergency and within 60 days propose a rule outlining which services should be permanently extended. The administration has regulatory authority to expand some services in rural areas, although Congress must authorize expansion beyond rural regions. The order also:
- Authorizes a new payment model in which rural hospitals will receive value-based Medicare payments in exchange for meeting quality thresholds.
- Directs several agencies to develop a strategy to improve the physical and communications healthcare infrastructure available to rural health care systems.
CMS and CDC Announce Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of COVID-19 testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms. Provider counseling to patients will include the discussion of immediate need for isolation, even before results are available, the importance to inform their immediate household that they too should be tested for COVID-19, and the review of signs and symptoms and services available to them to aid in isolating at home. CMS will use existing evaluation and management (E/M) payment codes to reimburse providers who are eligible to bill CMS for counseling services no matter where a test is administered, including doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, hospitals and community drive-thru or pharmacy testing sites. Click here for the CMS/CDC Counseling checklist.