COVID-19 Daily Updates

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Today in Washington – April 7, 2020: COVID-19 Updates

Posted on April 7, 2020 in COVID-19 Daily Updates

Published by: Hall Render

Tuesday, April 7 Recap

Note – ​We believe this is the most up-to-date information available at this time, but it is subject to change ​as circumstances warrant. Also, all finalized resources can be found ​on the COVID-19 ​Resource ​Center page ​of Hall Render’s website.​

CMS Provides More Information on CARES Act Funding

  • At the White House briefing on COVID-19 tonight, CMS Administrator Seema Verma provided more information on distribution of the $100 billion in funding to health care providers in the CARES Act.
  • Administrator Verma provided the following details:
    • $30 billion from the fund in CARES will be put out this week based on “Medicare revenue.”
    • These are “essentially grants” with “no strings attached” and “health care providers can spend that any way they see fit.”
    • Since CMS does direct deposit with many health care providers, the money will “go right into their bank accounts.”
    • For Medicare providers not on direct deposit with CMS, it will require “some very simple registration.”
    • This money will not be put out on a first-come, first-served basis.

For providers who get the majority of their revenue from Medicaid, private payers or some other non-Medicare source (children’s hospitals, nursing homes, certain physician practice groups), those entities will get priority when the next round of funding goes out.

Congressional Outlook

  • The House and Senate remain in recess until at least April 20.
  • On a call with House Democratic members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) outlined provisions she would like to see included in the next stimulus bill, including more direct payments to individuals, expanded unemployment insurance and paid leave and increased OSHA protections for health care workers and emergency responders.
  • Today, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin formally requested an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which has almost expended in three days the $350 billion it was originally allocated through the CARES Act. However, at the time of this writing, it is unclear how soon Congress will be able to act on the request.

Kaiser Report

  • The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report today that shows the Trump administration’s plan to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients with COVID-19 could consume more than 40% of the $100 billion fund established by the CARES Act.

COVID-19 Community Response Fund

  • Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation have established a fund that will provide cash and in-kind donations totaling $5 million for immediate response and recovery efforts related to the pandemic.
  • Hospitals that are verified 501(c)(3) organizations are invited to apply for grants in the range of $100,000 to $250,000 for programs that strengthen local and national health care infrastructure to meet increased demand and protect front-line health workers and help establish digital platforms for COVID-19-related data collection, remote delivery of health care and effective dissemination of important public health information.
  • More information can be found here. 

ECRI Report

  • ECRI issued a report on the safety of extended use and reuse of N95 respirators. 

Two Former FDA Commissioners Release Report on Restarting the Economy

  • Former FDA Commissioners Scott Gottlieb and Mark McClellan released a report that provides a framework for restarting the economy based on “an ample testing and disease surveillance system to rapidly diagnose coronavirus, isolate infected people and effectively quarantine their close contacts.

From DEA

  • The DEA announced today that it is increasing Aggregate Production Quotas available to pharmaceutical manufacturers for the production of controlled substance medications that are in high demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information, please contact:

Hall Render’s attorneys and professionals continue to maintain the most up-to-date information and resources at our COVID-19 Resource page, through our 24/7 COVID‑19 Hotline at (317) 429-3900 or by contacting your regular Hall Render attorney.

Hall Render blog posts and articles are intended for informational purposes only. For ethical reasons, Hall Render attorneys cannot—outside of an attorney-client relationship—answer specific questions that would be legal advice.