Coronavirus Update: CMS and IRS Release New Information on COVID-19

Guidance on EMTALA, Medicare Advantage/Part D, high-deductible health plans, facemasks, and home health agencies and dialysis centers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have released a number of new documents related to COVID-19. This includes:

  • Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements;
  • Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D requirements and flexibilities;
  • Cost-sharing for high-deductible health plans;
  • Respirator and facemask use for health care workers; and
  • Health and safety for home health agency (HHA) and dialysis providers.

What You Can Do:
Please share this advisory with your executive management team, hospital epidemiologist, infection control leadership, emergency department (ED) director, emergency preparedness staff, employee health and heads of services (e.g., environmental services, resources and materials managers, hospital engineers pediatrics and critical care), billing department, as well as your clinical leadership team.

Key Takeaways
CMS and IRS have released a number of new documents related to COVID-19, including on:

  • Hospitals and health systems’ requirement to adhere to existing obligations for screening, stabilization and transfers under EMTALA, with latitude to establish screening sites away from the ED, but on the hospital campus.
  • MA plans’ and Part D sponsors’ requirements and flexibilities to remove potential barriers to care, such as cost-sharing, prior authorization and limits on drug refills.
  • IRS guidance to employers permitting the waiving of cost-sharing for employees in high-deductible health plans.
  • Clarifications around the acceptable uses of different types of respirators and facemasks for health care workers.
  • Recommendations for screening and treatment of patients and staff at HHAs and dialysis centers.

Select highlights from the documents that are important to hospitals and health systems follow under key resources.

 

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