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Archive for December 2020

COVID-19 Update: Thursday, December 24

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state government as of 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 24. Department of Health The Department of Health has updated its COVID-19 guidance for hospitals with clarification on testing prior to discharge to another facility and information on reporting requirements for COVID-19 outbreaks. The Department of Health and Department of Human Services have issued guidance on how the operations of the Regional Response Health Collaborative Program (RRHCP) will wind down as funding for the program expires on December 30, 2020.  They also have posted an updated directory of RRHCP call centers. The Department of Health has amended reporting requirements for skilled nursing facilities.  Effective December, 24, 2020, skilled nursing facilities will no … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, December 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state government as 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22. Governor Wolf Last week the Governor’s Budget Office released a mid-year budget report.  The report noted that the state ended the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a $2.7 billion deficit largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the second half of the fiscal year the administration projects that economic growth will rebound slightly due to low interest rates, short-term fiscal policies, and a declining unemployment rate. The mid-year budget report also highlighted areas of concern moving forward, including the uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19 on state revenue, the replacement of one-time funding sources, and the unknown potential of additional federal stimulus funding.  … Read More

Posted in COVID-19, DSH hospitals

GAO: CMS Should Pay More Attention to States’ Financing of Medicaid

The federal government does not adequately monitor how states finance their Medicaid programs. It also lacks a sufficiently clear understanding of how they pay providers of Medicaid-covered services. These are among the conclusions in a new study on Medicaid financing and payments by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. According to the GAO report, GAO estimated that states’ reliance on provider taxes and local government funds decreased states’ share of net Medicaid payments (total state and federal payments) and effectively increased the federal share of net Medicaid payments by 5 percentage points in state fiscal year 2018.  It also resulted in smaller net payments to some providers after the taxes and local government funds they contribute to their payments are taken … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

SNAP Asks Congress to Help Hospitals Keep Provider Relief Fund Grants

Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals could lose some or all of their CARES Act Provider Relief Fund grant money and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania is asking members of the state’s congressional delegation to intervene on their behalf to prevent it. At issue are financial reporting requirements that at first directed hospitals to estimate their anticipated revenue losses and extra expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in one way and then shifted to a new approach.  The first grant distribution was based on the original reporting requirements, and now, hospitals fear that the change in reporting requirements could leave them vulnerable to a demand that they return some, much, or all of that grant money. The Department of Health and Human Services … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Thursday, December 10

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 10. Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf In a news conference held Thursday afternoon from his home in York, where he is under quarantine because he was diagnosed with COVID-19, Governor Wolf announced new state mitigation efforts to attempt to stem the current surge of cases in the state.  Joining Governor Wolf for the news conference was Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who also is under quarantine because she recently was exposed to people who have tested positive for the disease.  (Members of the governor’s staff and security team have tested positive for COVID-19.) The new mitigation steps take effect at 12:01 … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Wednesday, December 9

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state government as 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has tested positive for COVID-19.  It was diagnosed in a routine test and he is quarantining at home.  See a news release from the governor’s office with further information.  Department of Health The Department of Health has issued guidance to hospitals on how to identify and report COVID-19 outbreaks originating within the facility.  The department wants this guidance to be used to supplement other relevant guidance documents and to guide the implementation of public health expectations for hospitals. Key messages included in the guidance: COVID-19 surveillance procedures must be outlined via written policy and implemented in a way … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, December 8

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8. Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf At a press briefing on Monday, Governor Wolf expressed concern about the alarming rate at which new COVID-19 cases are being diagnosed in Pennsylvania, asked Pennsylvanians to wear masks, engage in recommended social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings, and warned that while he was not calling for any new mitigation requirements at this time, he and other state officials are reviewing their options and may recommend new measures later this week. Department of Health The Department of Health announced that beginning on Thursday, December 10, regional drive-through and indoor walk-in COVID-19 testing clinics will be held … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

SNAP Asks PA Delegation for COVID-19 Aid

SNAP has written to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to request additional COVID-19 legislation between now and the end of the year to help Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals respond to the health care and financial challenges posed by the pandemic. In its letter, SNAP asked Congress for: additional funding for the Provider Relief Fund for assistance to hospitals; extension of the temporary moratorium on continued implementation of the 2011 Budget Control Act’s Medicare sequestration; and the suspension of any other federal cuts for health care providers, such as the scheduled reduction of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allocations to the states. Read SNAP’s message to Congress.  

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

COVID-19 Update: Friday, December 4

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 2:45 p.m. on Friday, December 4. SNAP Advocacy SNAP has written to Congress to request additional COVID-19 legislation between now and the end of the year.  SNAP asked Congress for additional funding for the Provider Relief Fund; extension of the temporary moratorium on continued implementation of the 2011 Budget Control Act’s Medicare sequestration; and the suspension of any other federal cuts for health care providers, such as the scheduled reduction of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allocations to the states.  Read SNAP’s message to Congress. Pennsylvania Update Department of Health The Department of Health has posted a fact sheet on the CDC’s arrangement with pharmacies … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update for Wednesday, December 2

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2. Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has renewed his COVID-19 public health emergency declaration.  See the announcement of the renewal here and go here to see the declaration itself. On Tuesday the governor posted a message on Twitter stating that “PA is projected to run out of ICU beds this month.” Governor Wolf and the Department of Health have extended the state’s contract with a vendor to perform COVID-19 testing throughout the state.  Over the next 12 weeks, five teams will provide testing in 61 counties – counties without their own health departments; the six counties not receiving this … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania