Summation of COVID-19 Federal Responses

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Thursday, July 2

Preview

July 6, 2020
Key points in this update:
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended until August 8 to give businesses more time to apply for the remaining $130 billion in unspent PPP funding.
  • HHS Secretary Alex Azar is expected to renew the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) before it expires in July. The PHE declaration authorizes many of the regulatory flexibilities that have been implemented in response to the pandemic to continue.
  • The FDA issued guidelines for how it will approve COVID-19 vaccines. NIAID Director Dr.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Monday, June 29

Preview

July 2, 2020
Key points in this update:
  • CMS proposes to make some of the telehealth policies permanent.
  • The CDC presented its policies and expanded its list of who is at increased risk for severe cases of COVID-19 to include pregnant women.
  • Fourteen states are pausing or reversing reopening measures due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed support for a government mandate that people wear masks in public.

The House of Representatives extended its proxy voting system through mid-August.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Thursday, June 25

Preview

June 30, 2020
Key points in this update:
  • The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) needs to be renamed and completely overhauled.
  • The CDC added fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea) to its list of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The CDC added pregnant women to its list of groups who may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 based on recent data. People with asthma are possibly at increased risk.
  • Several Federal agencies issued joint guidance about how self-funded health plans are required to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and also clarifies that providers cannot balance bill patients for COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
  • The Treasury Department may consider a second tax filing extension that would push the deadline from July 15 to September 15.

Congress

Congress is focusing on its non-COVID-19 agenda.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Monday, June 22

Preview

June 24, 2020
Key points in this update:
  • Senators focus on making temporary telehealth policies permanent.
  • Senators introduce the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act, which would expand upon the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing flexibilities for high deductible health plans (HDHP) to include the use of telehealth and remote care services and reimburse enrollees for over-the-counter and menstrual care products through tax-advantaged health plan accounts.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends a localized approach for responding to new regional outbreaks.

Congress

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he believes that certain temporary federal telehealth policies should be made permanent.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Monday, June 15

Preview

June 16, 2020

Key points in this update:

  • With the potential for a second wave of COVID-19, the CDC recommends the use of face masks, social distancing, considerations for larger gatherings, and other precautionary measures.
  • Bipartisan Senators support legislation to permanently expand some telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Representatives call for legislation to create new Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services provided by community health centers and rural health clinics.

Congress

A bipartisan group of 30 senators submitted a letter to Senate leadership in support of legislation to permanently expand certain telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Wednesday, June 10

Preview

June 11, 2020

Key points in this update:

  • HHS announced a new Provider Relief Fund distribution of $15 billion dollars to Medicaid providers who had not previously received funding.
  • PPP eases requirements so more loans can become grants.
  • The White House Supply Chain Task Force officials plan on stockpiling 400 million syringes and needles by December, in anticipation of an approved vaccine.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new Provider Relief Fund distribution of $15 billion dollars to Medicaid providers who did not receive funding from the Provider Relief Fund’s General Allocation. HHS is also distributing $10 billion to safety net hospitals.

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Wednesday, June 3

Preview

June 4, 2020

Key points in this update:

  • New PPP flexibilities await President’s signature.
  • CMS makes some temporary telemedicine changes permanent.
  • Dr. Fauci predicts the U.S. will have a COVID vaccine by the end of the year.

Congress

The Senate succeeded in passing the House of Representatives' bill that makes significant changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The legislation would: