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COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to protecting American patients and residents by ensuring health care facilities have up-to-date information to adequately respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. Refer to the CMS Current EmergenciesExternal Website web page to access waiver and flexibility informationExternal Website as well as various updates and guidance during this public health emergency.

Refer to the CMS Podcast and TranscriptsExternal Website web page to access Coronavirus COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls. To receive information about these calls, and to receive email updates directly from CMS, go to the CMS websiteExternal Website, scroll to the bottom of the page and to the "Receive Email Updates" icon and enter your email address and submit (select Open Door Forums).

CGS has provided CMS COVID-19 related resources (not all inclusive) below. Please share with your appropriate staff. Click on the resource below to view.

Section 1135 and Section 1812(f) Waivers

The Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services declared a public health emergency (PHE) in the entire United States on January 31, 2020. On March 13, 2020 Secretary Azar authorized waivers and modifications under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act (the Act), retroactive to March 1, 2020. Refer to the MLN Matters Special Edition article, SE20011 – Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)External PDF for additional information.

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Accelerated/Advance Payment

CMS has expanded the current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program during the COVID-19 public health emergency to extend financial hardship relief to impacted Medicare Part A Providers, and Part B Providers/Suppliers.

Note: Please refer to the April 27, 2020, Special Edition MLN Connects "COVID-19: CMS Reevaluates Accelerated Payment Program and Suspends Advance Payment ProgramExternal PDF" for additional information.

Providers/suppliers experiencing cash flow problems shall submit the COVID-19 Accelerated/Advance Payment FormPDF, signed by the provider's/supplier's authorization official that is legally able to make financial obligations on behalf of the providers/supplier (digital – signature and a facsimile (fax) request is acceptable). Instructions can be found on the form. Providers/suppliers that are part of a group practice may attach a list of PTANs/NPIs to the form.

The request may be submitted to CGS via email CGS.ERS.CORR@cgsadmin.com, fax 1.615.664.5949, or mail to:

CGS Administrators, LLC
ATTN: CFO Accelerated Payments
PO Box 20018
Nashville, TN 37202

COVID-19 Provider Enrollment and Accelerated Payment Telephone Hotline: The telephone hotline 1.855.769.9920 has been created for providers and suppliers to initiate provisional temporary Medicare billing privileges and address questions regarding provider enrollment flexibilities and accelerated payments, afforded by the COVID-19 waiver. The hotline is available Monday–Friday 7:00 am–4:00 p.m. Central Time (CT).

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All Providers

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Cost Report (Part A, Home Health and Hospice)

CMS is currently authorizing delay for the following fiscal year end dates. CMS will delay the filing deadline of FYE 10/31/2019 cost reports due by March 31, 2020 and FYE 11/30/2019 cost reports due by April 30, 2020. The extended cost report due dates for these October and November FYEs will be June 30, 2020. CMS will also delay the filing deadline of the FYE 12/31/2019 cost reports due by May 31, 2020. The extended cost report due date for FYE 12/31/2019 will be July 31, 2020 (42 CFR § 413.24 (f) (2) (ii) allows this flexibility). In addition, this is a blanket extension and providers do not need to request for extensions.

Pause for Request for Cost Reports Worksheet S-10 Audit Documentation, Medicare Desk Reviews, Audits and Reopenings Documentation. (Part A and Home Health and Hospice)

Due to the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has provided instructions for CGS to suspend requests for documentation for the following Medicare Cost Report activities:

  • Cost Reports Worksheet S-10 (W/S S-10) audits for all cost reports that begin during Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 for hospitals that qualify for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment until May 15, 2020. If you have already received a request for documentation, the due date has been extended to May 15, 2020.
  • All Medicare Desk Reviews, Audits and Reopenings until May 15, 2020. CGS shall work on any in-house Desk Reviews, Audits and Reopenings based on the documentation that they have already received. If additional information is needed to complete the reviews, a request for such information will not be sent before May 16, 2020.

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End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Home Health Providers

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Hospice Providers

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Laboratories

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Opioid Treatment Program (OPT) Providers

CMS revised regulation text to allow audio-only telephone calls for the therapy and counseling portions of the weekly bundles and the add-on code for additional counseling or therapy (HCPCS code G2080) for beneficiaries with opioid use disorders, provided all other requirements are met. Providers may conduct the periodic patient assessments (HCPCS code G2077) via two-way interactive audio-video communication technology or by telephone only in cases where the beneficiary does not have access to two-way interactive technology. For more details, refer to the Opioid Billing & Payment information on the CMS website.

Provider Enrollment

Provider Enrollment Telephone Hotline: The telephone hotline 1.855.769.9920 (Monday–Friday, 7:00 am–4:00 pm Central Time (CT)) has been created for physicians and non-physician practitioners to initiate provisional temporary Medicare billing privileges via telephone and address questions regarding provider enrollment flexibilities afforded by the COVID-19 waiver.

CMS has provided instructions for CGS to process abbreviated information over the telephone, collecting minimal information to establish a Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) enrollment record. CMS is waiving the following screening requirements:

  • Criminal background checks associated with the FCBC – 42 C.F.R. 424.518
  • Site-visits – 42 C.F.R. 424.518
  • In state licensure requirements – as long as the provider is licensed to render equivalent services in another state and are not affirmatively excluded from practice in that state or in any other state (based on the MAC verified state licensing board and/or the Office of Inspector General (OIG)), they can be enrolled for reimbursement in subsequent states.

Refer to the Part B Provider Enrollment web page for additional information.

In addition, this is available for Part A certified provider and suppliers who are establishing isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive patients and want to enroll and bill for their services. Refer to the Part A Provider Enrollment web page for additional information.

Enrollment of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) as Hospitals

ASCs can use the provider enrollment hotline to establish temporary billing privileges as a 'Hospital.' For additional information, ASCs should refer to the Guidance for Processing Attestation Statements from Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) Temporarily Enrolling as Hospitals during the COVID-19 Public Health EmergencyExternal PDF. CGS will:

  • Collect minimal information in order to identify the ASC's current enrollment record in the Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) (i.e. Legal Business Name (LBN), National Provider Identifier (NPI), Tax Identification Number (TIN)).
  • Verify that the ASC is in an approved status in PECOS. If the ASC is not in an approved status, the ASC's request for temporary enrollment privileges will be rejected. If the ASC is in an approved status, the ASC will be notified over-the-phone that the temporary billing privileges process is being initiated and they should expect an approval of temporary billing privileges within 3 business days.
  • Attestation process will be initiated by obtaining the contact person email address and sending the contact person an email including the attached attestation form. A signed and dated attestation form will be obtained via email or fax, which will be included when informing the CMS Location Office. Digital signatures are acceptable. ASC providers are required to attest to all applicable hospital federal participation requirements as outlined in the attestation form.
  • Information from the ASC PECOS enrollment record will be used to create the Hospital enrollment record in PECOS.
  • CGS will inform the appropriate CMS Location Office that an ASC has applied for temporary billing privileges through the hotline as a Hospital in order to initiate the survey and certification process.
  • Upon receipt of the tie-in information, CGS shall finalize the enrollment record in PECOS and issue the attached temporary billing privileges approval letter via email.
  • The ASC's billing privileges will be deactivated once the approval for the hospital enrollment has been established. The effective date of the deactivation should be the date prior to the effective date for the hospital.

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Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

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Telehealth

Refer to the List of Telehealth ServicesExternal Website for the Covered Telehealth Services for PHE and the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 1, 2020Zip File. An updated Telehealth Services MLN BookletExternal PDF is available on the CMS website. Also available is the General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool KitExternal PDF.

Video now available on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual ServicesExternal Website, providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit.

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MLN Connects Special Editions

Subscribe to the weekly email newsletterExternal PDF for health care professionals.

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MLN Matters® Articles

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Press Releases

Access all news from the CMS NewsroomExternal Website.

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Recorded CGS COVID-19 Webinars/Teleconferences

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Sequestration

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, section 3709, temporarily suspends the 2 percent payment adjustment pertaining to all Medicare payments. The suspension of this adjustment is effective from May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

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