- Republican Members of the House Ways and Means Committee released a discussion draft of legislation that would make permanent some of the temporary regulatory changes CMS made to its telehealth coverage policies.
- As the U.S. faces COVID-19 testing supply shortages and backlogged testing results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that COVID-19 patients no longer be retested before emerging from quarantine.
- The White House COVID-19 Taskforce will resume its briefings.
The House and Senate will soon begin negotiating, in earnest, a new COVID-19 relief package with the goal of completing passage before leaving D.C. for their August recess. Possible areas of focus for this relief package include funds for reopening schools, liability protections for businesses and institutions of higher education, renewing unemployment benefits, and funding for the healthcare system.
- Senate Republicans intend to release their own bill in the coming days. They are expected to begin negotiating with the Democrat-controlled House after their bill is released. The White House will also be party to these negotiations.
Republican Members of the House Ways and Means Committee released a discussion draft of legislation that would make permanent some of the temporary regulatory changes CMS made to its telehealth coverage policies.
White House and Federal Agencies
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Redfield provided the following update to the media on HHS’ announcement that it will require hospitals to submit COVID-19 data to HHS instead of the CDC.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced it will make a new distribution of $10 billion from its Provider Relief Fund to hospitals experiencing a surge of infections.
HHS developed a 10-week, peer-to-peer learning community called the “HHS Telemedicine Hack,” aimed at equipping outpatient providers with the skills and knowledge needed to implement telemedicine.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the schedule of COVID-19 stakeholder calls it will hold from July 21 to August 7.
Reopening, Testing and Vaccine
CMS released updated COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service billing for COVID-19-related services. The policies set out in this FAQ are effective for the duration of the PHE unless superseded by future legislation.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will authorize COVID-19 batch testing. Under this authorization, approved labs can test four individual samples together. If the pool tests positive, the four individuals will need to be re-tested to determine who from the group is positive. The purpose of batch testing is to improve the efficiency of testing and conserve testing supplies.
The CDC released updated symptom profiles of a sample of patients with COVID-19 in the U.S. from January to April 2020. Fever, cough, or shortness of breath were commonly reported among the sample of patients. The profile includes a range of illness severity. Gastrointestinal issues and other symptoms, such as chills, myalgia, headache, and fatigue, also were commonly reported.
As the U.S. faces COVID-19 testing supply shortages and backlogged testing results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that COVID-19 patients no longer be retested before emerging from quarantine.
President Trump said the White House COVID-19 Taskforce will resume its briefings.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blog post highlighting Encouraging Early Data on COVID-19 Vaccines.
The United States and the European Union participated in a Joint Financial Regulatory Forum to discuss each party’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics of mutual interest.
The Senate Committee on Aging will be holding a hearing on Tuesday, July 21 at 9:30 am ET to discuss racial health disparities in the senior population as they are related to COVID-19.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a hearing on Tuesday, July 21 at 10 am ET to discuss how drug manufacturers are developing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is hosting a hearing on July 22 at 10:00 am ET to discuss creating an interagency task force that will analyze the United States’ preparedness for future pandemics.
The House Education Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education is holding a hearing on Thursday, July 23 at 10:15 am ET. to discuss how schools can overcome obstacles, like underfunding, to safely reopen in the fall.
All hearings are recorded and available online.