Kids Health First is closely monitoring COVID-19 updates from the leading authorities across the globe, including:
Please check back often for new developments and community advisories as they become available.
Recent News Updates:
Implementation of “Open Notes” Rule Delayed – On October 29, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced an Interim Final Rule to the CURES Act. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ONC is extending compliance dates and timeframes for Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT Certification Program. The new deadline for providers to comply is April 5, 2021
New CPT Code Approved for Use During Pandemic: Though Implementation is Pending—Last week we told you about this new code, 99072, which can be reported for additional supplies, materials, and preparation time required and provided by the physician over and above those usually included in an office visit, when performed during a nationally declared public health emergency. However, CMS has not issued a Final Rule on this code, and at this point, payers vary widely in how they are treating the code. Click here for more information.
New Provider Relief Funding Phase 3: General Distribution – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a next phase of provider relief funding. It will distribute $20 billion to pediatricians and other providers who have experienced lost revenue and increased expenses due to COVID-19. Providers can apply from October 5 to November 6. More information can be found via this press release.
10.28.20– Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.
CISA, FBI, and HHS have released AA20-302A Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector that details both the threat and practices that healthcare organizations should continuously engage in to help manage the risk posed by ransomware and other cyber threats. The advisory references the joint CISA MS-ISAC Ransomware Guide that provides a ransomware response checklist that can serve as a ransomware-specific addendum to organization cyber incident response plans.
In addition to these materials regarding the most recent ransomware threat to the Healthcare and Public Health Sector, the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ Fact Sheet: Ransomware and HIPAA provides further information for entities regulated by the HIPAA Rules.
CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information in order to provide a warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats. CISA encourages users and administrators to review CISA’s Ransomware webpage for additional information.
HHS Revises Definition of “Lost Revenue,” Clarifies Definition of “Reporting Entity,” and Expands Phase III Eligibility
On October 22, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued revised instructions regarding permitted uses of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. The legislation creating the PRF restricts its use to “healthcare related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus” and requires recipients to report on their use of funds. Read our detailed explanation of the HHS revisions here.
10.21.20- CDC Update COVID-19 Guidance
|The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 testing (namely, a recommendation that asymptomatic persons should get tested) and the many considerations employers should make when reopening buildings after they’ve been closed or reduced in operations.|
New Report: U.S. Schools Have Avoided Spike in COVID-19 Cases
Reuters recently reported Friday, Oct. 2, that U.S. schools from kindergarten to high school have avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases, noting reassuring data that shows you can open schools safely when you put in place the right measures and have control of community spread. Medical experts say the real test is coming as students in large densely-populated cities such as New York and Miami return to classrooms.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 testing (namely, a recommendation that asymptomatic persons should get tested) and the many considerations employers should make when reopening buildings after they’ve been closed or reduced in operations.
Georgia Health News reports a growing number of parents are increasingly uncomfortable with taking their children to the doctor. Given that Georgia is a COVID-19 hot spot and now has more than 260,000 confirmed cases, some parents feel the risk is too great. This post features comments from Dr. Keyana Washington- a KHF physician with Gwinnett Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and ,Dr. Sally Goza- President of the AAP.
Georgia AAP Partners with DPH to Promote Well Child Care– 8/12/20 The Georgia Chapter has partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health on a social media campaign to promote the need for children to go to their pediatricians for well child care.
Updated Guidance for Discontinuing Isolation and Testing After COVID-19 Recovery
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance related to discontinuing isolation and testing after recovery. This guidance has implications for patients returning to you for care and for individuals returning to work or school.
For more information, refer to the Georgia Department of Public Health memo dated Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
The Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) School Health Committee has developed a toolkit that can serve as a template for how the pediatrician can become involved in school re-openings.