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COVID-19 Update: March 31, 2020

Coronavirus Update: March 31, 2020. COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.  To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@pasafetynet.org. State Update Governor Wolf                                                                                                      Today, Governor Wolf announced that the President approved part of his request for a major disaster declaration to support state, county, and local responses to COVID-19.  Included in the approved requests are reimbursement of up to 75 percent of eligible expenses (staff overtime, supplies, equipment) related to COVID-19 response for all levels of state government and private non-profits that qualify and direct federal assistance for materials and supplies to state and local governments.  Staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be contacting potential applicants in … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicare

COVID-19 Update: March 24, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of 4:45 today. For your convenience, copies of our daily updates are also posted to the SNAP Blog available here. State Updates The State Legislature The legislature continues to deliberate on a number of measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.  Among the issues being discussed between the administration and legislature are: Declaring a public health emergency and providing funding to respond to the crisis. Advancing telemedicine legislation. Amending the rules of unemployment compensation during an emergency declaration such as easing work search requirements and extending the length of time that benefits are available. Providing assistance to small businesses and non-profits through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: March 23, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of March 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Pennsylvania Legislature The governor and General Assembly agreed to postpone the Pennsylvania primary from April 28 until June 2.  We anticipate this agreement to be formalized within the coming week.  The House met to consider this issue today in non-voting session and are scheduled for voting session tomorrow.  The Senate remains at a twelve-hour call of the President Pro Tempore. Pennsylvania Administration Department of Health Daily Update Governor Wolf announced stay at home orders for residents in Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Monroe counties, urging residents in those areas to shelter in place and only leave home for … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues

COVID-19 Update: March 20, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania today as of 5:30 p.m. on March 20, 2020. Pennsylvania Administration Since yesterday, the Department of Human Services has issued the following four new guidance documents: Billing Guidance for Alternative Screening Sites Related to COVID-19 Virtual Drop Ins Mental Health Revised Due Dates for Case Mix Index (CMI) Reporting, Cost Report Submissions, and Nursing Facility Assessment Payment Plan Requests Interim Guidance on Visitation in Nursing Facilities During COVID-19 We notified you last night that the governor issued an order to close all “non-life-sustaining businesses.” Below please find two resources for additional information. Any business that would like to seek a waiver to the mandate to close can send … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Department of Health and COVID-19, Pennsylvania Department of Health coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: March 19, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania for March 19, 2020 as of 6:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Administration Governor’s Order Closing State Businesses Early in the evening, Governor Tom Wolf announced that he was ordering the immediate closing of what he called “non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania.”  See his news release on the order here, the order itself here, and a list of types of businesses and whether they are or are not “life-sustaining” here. Pennsylvania Department of State Licensure Exceptions and Fast Track The Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, in conjunction with Governor Wolf, issued a press release announcing that the governor had granted the department’s request for a suspension to … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Department of Health and COVID-19, Pennsylvania Department of Health coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19

CMS Posts COVID-19 FAQ for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies

State Medicaid agencies and CHIP programs have received new guidance on the federal resources available to them to fight the COVID-19 national health emergency through a new FAQ published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week. Among the issues addressed in the FAQ are eligibility, enrollment, benefits, cost sharing, workforce issues, telehealth, and more.  Health care providers may find this information useful when serving their patients. See CMS’s news release describing the FAQ here and the FAQ itself here.

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the sessions. The February 2020 MACPAC meeting opened with a continuation of MACPAC’s examination of Medicaid’s role in maternal health, when Medicaid officials from Michigan, New Jersey, and North Carolina joined the Commission to discuss how their states are addressing maternal morbidity and mortality.* The Commission plans to include a chapter on maternal health in its June 2020 report to Congress. Commissioners later turned their attention to policy options for improving enrollment in the Medicare Savings Program. The Commission later took a deep dive into value-based payment in Medicaid managed care. This three-part session began with findings … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

PA Health Law Project Newsletter

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its February 2020 newsletter Health Law News. Included in this month’s edition are articles about: Governor Wolf’s proposed FY 2021 Medicaid budget. Challenges Pennsylvania Medicaid recipients have encountered obtaining services from their HealthChoices managed care plan and how to address them. Implementation of the federal “public charge” regulation and whom it does – and does not – affect. Read about these subjects and more in the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s February 2020 newsletter.

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, HealthChoices, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania proposed FY 2021 budget

MFAR Backlash Continues

Diverse health care and government interests are rallying around their opposition to the proposed Medicaid fiscal accountability rule. The regulation, proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in November would impose new limits on the ability of states to finance their share of their Medicaid spending, potentially jeopardizing provider payments and the ability of high-volume Medicaid providers to operate without suffering great losses. In all, CMS received more than 4200 written comments in response to the proposed regulation, most of them expressing opposition.  Among those doing so were state governments, the National Governors Association, hospitals and hospital associations, nursing home operators, and health advocacy organizations.  Also among them was the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania.  In summarizing its opposition, … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments

SNAP Rallies PA Delegation to Oppose MFAR

A proposed federal Medicaid regulation could limit Pennsylvania’s ability to finance its Medicaid program and jeopardize supplemental payments to the state’s private safety-net hospitals, so SNAP has asked members of the state’s congressional delegation to sign a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking her to reconsider the potentially damaging Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation. In its letter to members of the state’s congressional delegation, SNAP wrote on behalf of private Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals that The proposed Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR) would, if implemented, impose new limits on how states may raise their share of funds to support their Medicaid programs. If adopted, the commonwealth would face a serious challenge raising the money it needs to finance its share of … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Uncategorized
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania