Q-Sights Key Insights – Volume 31
12/14/20220 – 12/18/2020
Here are the key topics you need to know about COVID-19 this week. To help you stay abreast of the latest COVID-19 news, guidelines and best practices from Federal, State, National Health Agencies and QHR Health, visit the QHR Health COVID-19 Online Resource Center.
Supply Chain and Pharmacy
- The QHR Health Supply Chain PLUS COVID-19 Warehouse Program shipped 3,312 items to 34 hospitals
- The warehouse will be closing at 4:30 pm CST on December 22 and will re-open on Monday, January 4, 2021. Please note, on any orders shipped LTL: the last shipment date will be Friday, December 18, 2020.
- Please monitor the HealthTrust Pharmacy COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest COVID-19 vaccine information. You will find the vaccine class review, candidate summary information, policy and procedures, and common questions.
- The FDA has approved the use of the extra dose(s) that many sites are finding in the Pfizer vials. You can pull as many full doses as available from each vial. Several sites are reporting that they are averaging 6 doses from the 5-dose vial. Please note that you cannot pull from multiple vials to get an additional dose.
- What Clinicians Need to Know About the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (12/13/2020). mRNA vaccines take advantage of the process that cells use to make proteins in order to trigger an immune response.
- Like all vaccines, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States
- mRNA technology is new, but not unknown. It has been studied for more than a decade
- mRNA vaccines do not contain a live virus and do not carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person
- mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell and does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA
- The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (also referred to as mRNA-1273). FDA Briefing Document Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (12/17/2020)
- Is based on the pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S) antigen encoded by mRNA and formulated in a lipid nanoparticle (LNP).
- Is a 2-dose series of 100-μg intramuscular injections administered 1 month apart.
- Final Scheduled Efficacy Analysis, Primary Endpoint, COVID-19 starting 14 days after the second dose per adjudication committee assessments, the per-protocol set is 94.1%
- CMS Reimbursement Toolkit for COVID 19 Vaccine (12/3/2020). This toolkit includes information to describe:
- How health care providers can enroll in Medicare to bill for administering COVID-19 vaccines when available.
- The COVID-19 vaccine Medicare coding structure.
- The Medicare reimbursement strategy for COVID-19 vaccine administration.
- How health care providers can bill correctly for administering vaccines, including roster and centralized billing.
- This toolkit will be updated as new information becomes available.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has started Phase III General Distribution of Provider Relief Funds
- Providers reported their updated “lost revenues” and COVID-19 expense increases in November
- HHS will distribute an additional $4.5 billion in Provider Relief Funds
- Approximately 70,000 providers will receive Phase III funding, while 35,000 providers will not
- Only those providers whose PRFs already received are less than lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses will receive funds
- Up to 90% of lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses will be reimbursed
- Nursing homes will receive approximately $1.1 billion, with ambulance and transportation providers receiving approximately $1.5 billion.
- HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awards $227 million for vaccine preparedness and response
- All 50 states will receive funds, US Territories will also receive funds
- This is in addition to the $200 million that was distributed in September
- Trump Administration finalized permanent expansion of Medicare telehealth services and improved payment for time doctors spend with patients
- The list of Medicare telehealth services and their codes are available to download in this linked .zip file
- Before the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), only 15,000 fee-for-service beneficiaries received a Medicare telemedicine service each week
- Preliminary data shows that between mid-March and mid-October 2020, over 24.5 million out of 63 million beneficiaries and enrollees have received a Medicare telemedicine service during the PHE
- This final rule delivers on the President’s recent Executive Order on improving rural health and telehealth access by adding more than 60 services to the Medicare telehealth list that will continue to be covered beyond the end of the PHE; more data will be gathered and evaluated to determine if additional services should be added in the future.
Visit the QHR Health COVID-19 Online Resource Center site as often as you’d like as we are providing live news feeds from the CDC and CMS to keep all of us updated on the latest news. There is also a document library link located in the bottom right-hand corner of the page where information is being organized by subject categories.
If you need assistance, please reach out to your QHR Health representative.