CMS releases additional tools to help state Medicaid and CHIP agencies plan for the eventual return to regular operations after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two tools to assist states and territories in their planning efforts to transition back to regular operations and resolve pending Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) eligibility and enrollment actions after the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE) ends.  These tools were announced in the Planning for the Resumption of Normal State Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) Operations Upon Conclusion of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency State Health Official Letter that CMS released on December 22, 2020.

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CMS released preliminary Medicaid COVID-19 increased FMAP expenditure data

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released preliminary Medicaid expenditure data that states reported to CMS through the Medicaid Budget and Expenditure System (MBES).    This information is summary level data for Medicaid service expenditures reported by states on the Form CMS-64 in MBES for the period of January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 and April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.  The data includes a breakout of expenditures associated with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) section 6004 which provides a 100% Federal match to uninsured individuals eligible under the new “COVID-19 testing” optional Medicaid eligibility group and section 6008 which provides a temporary 6.2 percentage point increase to qualifying states and territory’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).        Learn more here: Medicaid CMS-64 FFCRA Increased FMAP Expenditure Data Collected through MBES

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They’re the most likely to die from COVID-19, but hardly any have been vaccinated

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times, January 15 2021 Public health officials have failed to quickly deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the vast majority of sick and elderly residents of California’s longterm care facilities, even though they are among the most vulnerable during the pandemic.(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times) As public health officials scramble to clear a backlog of unused COVID-19 vaccine by opening the process to anyone 65 or older, new data show they failed to quickly deliver shots to the vast majority of California’s most vulnerable residents, who were supposed to be the priority.

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Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D Will Provide Better Coverage, More Access and Improved Transparency for Medicare Beneficiaries

January 15, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations CMS Media Inquiries Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D Will Provide Better Coverage, More Access and Improved Transparency for Medicare Beneficiaries Final rule continues to strengthen the popular private Medicare health and drug plans. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that further advances the agency’s efforts to strengthen and modernize the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs.

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CMS Puts Patients Over Paperwork with New Rule that Addresses the Prior Authorization Process

January 15, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations CMS Media Inquiries CMS Puts Patients Over Paperwork with New Rule that Addresses the Prior Authorization Process Final rule gives providers access to patient treatment histories, and streamlines prior authorization to improve patient experience and alleviate burden for health care providers Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a signature accomplishment of the new Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI).

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86% of San Diego Assisted Living Homes Still Don’t Have Dates Set for Vaccine Distribution

By Alexis Rivas and Tom Jones, NBC 7 San Diego, January 14 2021  As of Jan. 10, 83% of the long-term care homes in California aren’t just waiting for a vaccine, they don’t even have a date on the calendar to get the first dose. In San Diego, that number is higher Just over 24 hours ago California announced anyone over age 65 can now get a COVID-19 vaccine, jumping ahead to a group that was supposed to fall under Phase 1B of the vaccination planBut NBC 7 Investigates uncovered the overwhelming majority of people in long-term care and assisted living homes, who would fall into the Phase 1A group, are still waiting to get their shots.CVS Pharmacy, who along with Walgreens is heading efforts to deliver vaccines to the vulnerable group, told NBC 7 Investigates the company started setting dates to vaccinate nursing home residents in California on Dec.

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‘We can’t do this anymore’: Burlingame skilled nursing workers overwhelmed by COVID outbreak

By Julia Prodis Sulek and Emily Deruy, Bay Area News Group, January 14 2021 BURLINGAME — Workers at the Burlingame Skilled Nursing facility pleaded for help Wednesday as a coronavirus outbreak raced through the facility over the past two weeks, with scores of employees out sick or quarantined and patients “dying every day.” “We can’t do this anymore.

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‘Slow-Motion Train Wreck’: Critics Say Long-Term Care Residents Falling Through Cracks in Vaccine Rollout

By Candice Nguyen, Michael Bott and and Jeremy Carroll, NBC Bay Area, January 13 2021 Frustration is mounting among families and industry watchdogs who say elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are slipping through the cracks during California’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and not receiving their shots as quickly as promised by state officials.

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Vaccination Rollout At San Diego Senior Care Facilities Lags Far Behind Plan

By Amita Sharma, KPBS, January 13 2021 CREDIT: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASESAbove: In this undated frame from video provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a scientist returns a novel coronavirus vaccine sample to a freezer in Bethesda, Md. As new COVID-19 cases again surge through senior care facilities in San Diego and throughout the state, getting vaccines into the arms of residents and caregivers has been spotty and slow, according to doctors and advocates.

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GACH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Reporting (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-31.2)

AFL 20-31.3 From the California Department of Public Health TO: General Acute Care Hospitals (GACHs) SUBJECT: GACH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Reporting (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-31.2) ​AUTHORITY:      Proclamation of Emergency (PDF) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL requires GACHs to report COVID-19 data daily to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

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