Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order (E.O.) 202.40 Regarding COVID Testing

The E.O. continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive until July 9, 2020.  The E.O. provides that the operator and administrator of all nursing homes and all adult care facilities, which are located in regions that have reached Phase Two of reopening, must test or make arrangements for the testing of all personnel, including all employees, contract staff, medical staff, operators and administrators, for COVID-19, once per week. This is a change from the previous requirement to be tested twice per week.

A copy of the E.O. can be found here. 

After Long Wait, HHS Announces Medicaid CARES Act Allocation

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced late yesterday that it was releasing $25 billion in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to high Medicaid providers and to safety net hospitals. Although HHS has been distributing funds from CARES to providers for a couple of months now, there has been concern that providers that treat a large number of Medicaid beneficiaries have not received a targeted allocation.  

The newly announced $25 billion Medicaid-specific allocation is divided into two components: (1) $15 billion in a Medicaid and CHIP targeted distribution; and (2) $10 billion to safety net hospitals. HHS has already posted the applicable Terms & Conditions for this fund.

For the $15 billion component, HHS explains that the money will be going to “eligible” Medicaid and CHIP providers. Fund recipients will have to go to an HHS portal and enter their annual patient revenue and information about the number of Medicaid patients the provider treats. HHS says that the allocation to providers will be approximately 2% of their patient revenue. Providers can qualify if they billed Medicaid or Medicaid managed care plans between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020.

In order to be an “eligible” provider, the recipient cannot have received general distribution funding relief. HHS gives some examples of providers that might qualify for the $15 billion allocation including home and community based services providers.

Providers eligible under this new Medicaid allocation are generally providing services that are not covered or are generally not provided to the broader Medicare population. Providers that think that they qualify can begin entering information in the portal beginning on June 10.

The deadline to submit an application for the Medicaid Targeted Distribution is July 3, 2020. Payments will be disbursed on a rolling basis, as information is validated. HHS may seek additional information from providers as necessary to complete its review.