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AzHHA Member Advisory- COVID-19: May 11

HHS Requests Hospitals to Report New Data Fields

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced it is requesting hospitals to report six new data fields to inform HHS’s distribution of remdesivir, a drug that has shown encouraging results in treating certain COVID-19 patients in early clinical trials.

Specifically, HHS is requesting weekly data on the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients and, of those hospitalized, the number requiring placement in intensive care units (ICUs). The initial data are due by 8 p.m. ET tomorrow, May 12. HHS indicated it intends to ask hospitals to report these data weekly, and that additional details are forthcoming later this week. 

HHS asks hospitals to submit the data using its TeleTracking web portal, the same portal HHS used last month for a one-time data request to inform its targeted distribution of funds to hospitals heavily impacted by COVID-19. TeleTracking is also one of the options hospitals can use to fulfill HHS’s previous request for the daily reporting of bed capacity and utilization data. Registered users of TeleTracking – including those added during last month’s one-time data request – should have received an email notice of this new data request early this morning.

HHS asks hospitals to use the same form used for daily reporting, and to report the new fields on that form.

AzHHA has inquired with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to see if the department will eventually be able to report this remdesiver-related data to HHS from EMResource as they are currently able to do with other federally-mandated COVID-19 data.

Early registration for public assistance encouraged 

The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) strongly encourages eligible hospitals to register early for Public Assistance, Category B reimbursement. Registration does not require an entity to apply for assistance, but it will provide the organization with a specialist from DEMA’s Recovery Branch to assist with capturing future costs.

Private non-profit hospitals and their affiliated clinics, as well as hospitals that are part of a governmental organization (e.g., a district hospital), are eligible for the program, which provides a 75% federal cost-share for such items as the purchase of PPE, disinfection of eligible facilities, and medical waste disposal.

To register, organizations should participate in an applicant briefing by DEMA scheduled Wednesday, May 13, 2020, or Wednesday, May 20, 2020. To register for the briefing, email [email protected]. After the briefing, you will receive documentation that allows you to register with the federal grant portal, and DEMA staff will be available to provide additional assistance. For more information on FEMA Public Assistance Part B, click here. Additional questions can be sent to [email protected].

Additional detail released on COVID-19 federal funding

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week distributed $12 billion from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to hospitals with high numbers of COVID-19 admissions, as well as $10 billion to rural hospitals and clinics. HHS announced new details on the distribution methodologies, which are described in a Special Bulletin from the American Hospital Association. Also included in the bulletin, is a Terms and Conditions comparison chart for the first three tranches of payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund.

In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released data on providers and suppliers who have obtained funding from the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. Data on the providers and suppliers is organized by state and updated state-by state and payments to providers and suppliers by provider type data is also available.

Spotlight: AzHHA federal waiver tracker

AzHHA convened legal and compliance staff from across the state to determine which federal and state waivers were necessary to meet the needs of patients and the community during a potential COVID-19 patient surge. The AzHHA Federal Waiver Tracker consolidates all waivers of federal law that are pertinent to Arizona hospitals in one document including:

  • CMS 1135 Blanket Waiver approvals,
  • AHCCCS waiver approvals from CMS and
  • all waiver approvals AzHHA has received from CMS.

Note, areas shaded grey indicate waivers that AHCCCS or AzHHA has requested but have not yet been approved. The tracker also includes a link to the source document for each waiver.

AzHHA also submitted state waiver requests to ADHS. These state waiver requests are not included in this federal tracker, however, the waiver letter request can be found on AzHHA’s COVID-19 website To date, ADHS has not yet granted any of AzHHA’s state waiver requests.

Hospital Week recognizes our frontline healthcare heroes

Now more than ever, Hospital Week 2020 allows us to highlight our hospitals, health systems and our healthcare heroes on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrated May 10-16, Hospital Week will focus on showing appreciation to hospitals, health systems and frontline workers. Download our communication toolkit here to view the national Week of Thanks daily themes along with pre-crafted social media messages and images.

Let us know how you’re celebrating this Week of Thanks and be sure to tag us on Facebook ArizonaHHA and Twitter @AzHospitalAssn so we can retweet and share your posts.

Ten Ways Healthcare Systems Can Operate Effectively during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

The CDC created a factsheet based on the experiences of healthcare systems as they respond to COVID-19. This document has practical approaches that can be used to protect healthcare personnel, patients and communities.

Healthcare Personnel:  How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The CDC released guidance to help recognize what stress looks like, steps to build resilience and cope with stress and where to go for help. 

What to Consider When Planning to Purchase Respirators from Another Country

The CDC Science blog entitled “Understanding the Use of Imported Non-NIOSH-Approved Respirators” provides information about respirators and options during a pandemic.  To learn more, please read: Factors to Consider When Planning to Purchase Respirators from Another Country.