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Connection Newsletter - August 13, 2020

HHS updates its CARES Act FAQ to aid hospitals and health systems in understanding the nuances of the provider relief fund

Among the new FAQs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) discusses hospitals’ eligibility for future funding via targeted distributions, stating that “Future General Distributions will take into account previous allocations, including General Distributions and Targeted Distributions. HHS may consider providers that have only received a Provider Relief Fund General Distribution for priority under future General Distributions.” Other topics include general distribution, including the payment portal and data sharing; distributions for rural, skilled nursing and safety net hospitals; general information, such as rejecting payments, auditing, reporting and balance billing and distribution for Medicaid and CHIP providers. Read

HHS announces agreement with Moderna, Inc. to manufacture 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense announced Tuesday an agreement with Moderna, Inc. to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Moderna will manufacture the vaccine doses while clinical trials are underway. Manufacturing while conducting clinical trials expedites the traditional vaccine development timeline and builds toward the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed goal to begin delivering safe and effective vaccines to individuals by the end of the year, subject to successful clinical trials and FDA authorization. Read

AMA releases additional CPT codes for SARS-CoV-2 testing

The American Medical Association yesterday released new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for reporting SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing on medical claims. They are code 86408 for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody screen; code 86409 for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titer; and codes 0225U and 0226U for proprietary laboratory analyses to detect SARS-CoV-2. The codes are effective immediately. For more information, visit CPT coding guidance.

AzHHA's affiliated partner Vizient announces new agreement to increase PPE access

AzHHA’s affiliated partner Vizient Inc. announced this week its agreement with Encompass Group, LLC for its Novaplus Enhanced Supply Program that will increase the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), enabling access to 40 million Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation level 3 disposable isolation gowns annually to its member hospitals. The agreement also includes other essential PPE including disposable bouffant caps and shoe covers. Read

Introduction to POLST webinar provides healthcare professionals resources to begin using POLST in Arizona

AzHHA Care Improvement hosted its Introduction to POLST webinar Wednesday to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and resources to begin using POLST in Arizona.

Developing the skills necessary to have quality conversations with your seriously ill patients doesn’t always come naturally. We provide evidence-based workshops to empower the care team to have these difficult conversations by providing them with easy-to-implement, proven communications strategies. Read

Arizona’s Chief Medical Officers team up to encourage the use of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

View the Like a Hero public service announcement here.