Tuesday Tidbits

Today the Senate passed a bill expanding funding for the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 relief programs ($370 billion), healthcare providers ($75 billion) and COVID-19 testing ($25 billion). The Wall Street Journal further reports that “the bill now goes to the House, which is expected to vote on it Thursday.” The President has tweeted that he will sign it when both Houses of Congress pass it..

Speaking of COVID-19 testing, Labcorp announced today that “it has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EUA permits nasal swab specimens to be collected at home using the Pixel by LabCorp™ COVID-19 test home collection kit if recommended by a healthcare provider after completing a COVID-19 questionnaire.” Furthermore, CVS Health announced today that it has opened another large scale drive up COVID testing site in Dearborn Michigan.

As anticipated the Department of Health and Human Services informed the public today about

a policy of enforcement discretion to allow compliance flexibilities regarding the implementation of the interoperability final rules announced on March 9th in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health emergency. ONC, CMS, and OIG will continue to monitor the implementation landscape to determine if further action is needed.

Absent this new policy, the rules would have been fully enforceable on January 1, 2021.

Finally the FEHBlog ran across today this long, handy AHIP prepared list of benefit improvements and related actions that its health plan members have made in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Bravo.

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