Last updated: September 28, 2021
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Governor Phil Murphy and the White House have each taken numerous actions to help diagnose and treat COVID-19.
We’ve tracked the announcements that are most important to healthcare office managers and administrators.
September 27: Long-term Care Providers, Residents, and their Families – The CDC issued FAQs about medical consent and Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses for long-term care residents.
September 27: Individuals with Underlying Medical Conditions – The CDC updated its guidance on COVID-19 vaccines for people with underlying medical conditions.
September 27: All Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance on COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination.
September 27: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued answers to common questions about the COVID-19 booster shot.
September 24: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccinations.
September 23: Health Departments – The CDC updated its resources for health departments to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing.
September 23: All Providers – The CDC updated its list of SARS-CoV-2 variant classifications and definitions.
September 22: All Providers & Residents – The FDA amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to allow for use of a single booster dose to be administered at least six months after the completion of the primary series for the following populations: individuals 65 years of age and older; individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; and individuals 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19 puts them at a high risk of severe COVID-19.
September 20: All NJ Providers & Residents – NJ DOH updated its guidance on where residents can receive free, public COVID-19 testing or treatment.
September 20: All Providers – The CDC updated its guidance on known variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
September 20: OBGYN & Pregnant Residents – The CDC updated the documentation and guidance provided about the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy registry.
September 20: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated information on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and selected adverse events reported after COVID-19 vaccination.
September 18: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its guidance on when and how to quarantine pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
September 16: All Residents – The CDC updated its guidance surrounding post-COVID conditions for the general public.
September 15: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance on preparing for your COVID-19 vaccination.
September 7: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance about the possibility of COVID-19 illness after vaccination.
September 2: Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People – The CDC issued updated COVID-19 vaccination guidance for those with compromised immune systems.
September 1: All Vaccinated Residents – The CDC issued interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people in relation to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
September 1: All Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance for families traveling with unvaccinated children.
August 26: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance about the Delta Variant.
August 23: All Providers & Residents – The FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved and will now be marketed as Comirnaty for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
August 19: All Providers & Residents – The FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to allow for use of an additional dose for certain immunocompromised individuals.
August 19: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its guide on key things to know about COVID-19 vaccines.
August 19: All Unvaccinated Residents – The CDC updated existing guidance for unvaccinated people regarding best practices for participating in outdoor and indoor activities.
August 18: All Providers & Residents – Public health and medical experts from HHS released a statement regarding a plan for COVID-19 booster shots.
August 17: All Providers and Parents/Guardians of Children and Teens – The CDC updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccination for children and teens.
August 16: OBGYN & Pregnant or Recently Pregnant Residents – The CDC updated existing guidance regarding COVID-19 risk for pregnant or recently pregnant people.
August 16: All Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance on resuming daily activities. All fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required by federal, state, and local laws including local business and workplace guidance.
August 13: All Residents – A new FDA Consumer Update highlights 5 Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccination for Adolescents.
August 13: All Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance for wearing masks.
August 11: All Providers & Residents – The CDC released new data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people, and is recommending all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.
August 11: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated information for people who are planning for pregnancy. Currently no evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccine causes fertility problems for women or men.
August 9: All Residents – The CDC updated its guidance on registering for v-safe, the after-vaccination health checker.
August 6: All Providers & Residents – A new CDC study shows that vaccination offers a higher level of protection than a previous COVID-19 infection.
August 6: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated information about possible side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
August 4: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its guidance for families with both vaccinated and unvaccinated members.
August 3: All Residents – The CDC updated its list of laws and regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
August 3: Healthcare Providers at COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics – The CDC issued strategies and considerations to plan, organize, and maximize operations at all types of temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
August 2: All NJ Healthcare Providers – Governor Murphy announced that all workers in certain state and private healthcare facilities and high-risk congregate settings will be required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to COVID-19 testing twice per week.
August 2: All Providers – The CDC updated its overview of testing information for COVID-19.
July 30: All Providers & Residents – The CDC issued new guidance for implementing COVID-19 prevention strategies in the context of varying community transmission levels and vaccination coverage.
July 28: All NJ Providers & Residents – Governor Murphy and NJDOH Commissioner Judy Persichilli released an announcement strongly recommending that both vaccinated and unvaccinated New Jersey residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk.
July 27: All Residents – HHS announced that as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing $121 million to support the work of trusted community-based efforts to increase vaccinations in underserved communities.
July 27: All Residents – The CDC updated its Frequently Asked Questions surrounding travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 26: All Providers & Residents – HHS and the U.S. Department of Justice jointly published guidance on how “long COVID” can be considered a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
July 23: All Providers & Residents – The FDA updated its COVID-19 response At-A-Glance Summary, which provides a quick look at facts, figures, and highlights on the FDA’s pandemic response efforts.
July 23: Institutes of Higher Education – The CDC updated guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), including recommendations for offering and promoting COVID-19 vaccination as well as guidance on prevention strategies for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals at IHEs.
July 22: All Healthcare Providers – The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) for its BD Vacutainer Plus Citrate Plasma Tubes, which are used to aid in the identification and treatment of coagulopathy in patients including those with known or suspected COVID-19.
July 22: All Residents – As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, HHS announced that it will invest more than $1.6 billion from the American Rescue Plan to support testing and mitigation measures in high-risk congregate settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and detect and stem potential outbreaks.
July 22: All Residents – HHS announced that it has provided $100 million in funding to rural health clinics for COVID-19 vaccine outreach in their communities to increase vaccinations.
July 19: Employers of Essential Workers – The CDC updated its toolkit to help employers educate their essential workers about the COVID-19 vaccine.
July 19: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its resources on COVID-19 vaccine equity for racial and ethnic minority groups.
July 16: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its guidance for families with both vaccinated and unvaccinated members.
July 16: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its Frequently Asked Questions surrounding COVID-19.
July 15: All Residents – The U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory warning the American public about the threat of health misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
July 14: Adult Day Services Providers –The CDC updated its guidance for Adult Day Services Centers and administrators regarding strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and best practices to maintain safe operations.
July 14: All Providers & Residents – The CDC updated its information regarding how COVID-19 spreads.
July 9: All Healthcare Providers – The CDC updated its guidance surrounding post-COVID conditions specifically for healthcare providers.
July 9: All Healthcare Providers – The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., for the VITROS Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG Quantitative Test.
July 8: All Providers & Residents – The CDC and FDA released a joint statement regarding vaccine boosters. At this time, individuals who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot.
July 3: Healthcare Providers & Older Adults – The CDC updated existing COVID-19 guidance for older adults and those who live with, visit, or provide care for them.
July 2: All NJ Providers & Residents – Governor Murphy highlighted several aspects of legislation allowing for termination of the Public Health Emergency effective as of July 4, 2021.
June 28: All NJ Residents & Educators – NJ DOH, NJ Department of Education, and Governor Murphy announced a series of coordinated recommendations and guidance documents to assist school districts and administrators develop reopening plans for the upcoming school year. All public school districts in New Jersey are expected to provide full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.
June 28: All NJ Providers & Residents – NJ DOH updated its guidance on how, where and when residents can get vaccinated.
June 25: All Providers & Residents – The FDA announced revisions to the patient and provider fact sheets for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines regarding the suggested increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination.
June 17: All Providers & Residents – HHS announced that the Biden Administration is investing $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan as part of a COVID-19 antiviral treatment development strategy.
June 16: All Providers & Residents – The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication for hand sanitizers, warning individuals and healthcare providers who use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to be wary of side effects that have been reported since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 14: All Providers – The CDC issued updated guidance on evaluating and caring for patients with post-COVID conditions.
June 14: All Providers & Residents – HHS announced that it has awarded $125 million in workforce grants for community-based efforts to bolster COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities across all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Freely Associated States.
June 11: All NJ Providers & Residents – Governor Murphy signed legislation creating a COVID-19 Pandemic Task Force on Racial and Health Disparities.
June 11: All Providers & Residents – The FDA announced that it is taking steps to increase availability of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
June 9: All Providers – The U.S. government is expected to procure approximately 1.7 million courses of an investigational antiviral treatment for COVID-19 from Merck, pending emergency use authorization from the FDA.
June 4: All NJ Providers & Residents – Governor Murphy signed legislation ending the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in New Jersey that has been in place since March 2020. Under this legislation, the majority of executive orders related to this Public Health Emergency will expire in 30 days.
May 31: Healthcare Providers – The CDC released updated information for healthcare providers on the underlying medical conditions associated with high risk for severe COVID-19.
May 26: All Providers – the FDA issued an EUA for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]).
May 26: All Providers & Residents – The State of New Jersey issued updated guidance for businesses, non-profits, and indoor workplaces, rescinding, as of June 4, the requirement that businesses and non-profits accommodate telework arrangements for their workforce and permitting employers in indoor worksites that are closed to the public to allow employees who can verify that they are vaccinated the ability to forego wearing a mask and social distancing.
May 25: All Providers – The HHS announced that it is dedicating $4.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to support the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program.
May 25: UPDATE for All NJ Residents – As of May 17th New Jersey lifted its long-standing travel advisory. The CDC, however, has recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
May 24: All NJ Providers & Residents – The State of New Jersey announced plans to lift major COVID-19 restrictions. Effective on Friday, May 28, the indoor mask mandate in public spaces will be lifted, as well as the six-foot social distancing requirement in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
May 19: All Vaccine Providers – The FDA authorized longer time for refrigerator storage of thawed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines prior to dilution, making the vaccine more widely available.
May 19: All Providers & Residents – The FDA issued a safety communication informing the public that results from SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests should not be used to evaluate immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time, and especially after the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.
May 17: All Providers – The CDC updated their quick reference guide which highlights key COVID-19 Clinical Care information for healthcare providers and provides selected links to full guidance and research for easier CDC web navigation.
May 15: All Providers & Residents – New Jersey provided guidance on safety rules and guidelines for all fully vaccinated residents.
May 15: All Providers & Residents – the CDC published updated information about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children & Teens.
May 14: All Providers – CMS released data on the continued impact the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is having on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries and utilization of health services.
May 11: All Providers & Residents – HHS announced the award of funding to support emergency home visiting assistance for families affected by the pandemic and the NJ DOH was the recipients of funding in our state to be used to provide services and emergency supplies.
May 11: Long-Term Care & Residential Facilities – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a rule that will ensure long-term care facilities, and residential facilities serving clients with intellectual disabilities, educate and offer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents, clients, and staff.
May 10: All NJ Providers & Residents – the FDA expanded the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.
May 6: All Providers – CMS increased the Medicare payment rate for administering monoclonal antibodies to treat beneficiaries with COVID-19.
May 4: Rural Health Care Providers – HHS announced nearly $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to be dedicated to the rural COVID-19 response.
May 3: Healthcare Providers – HHS through the HRSA launched a new reimbursement program covering costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing.
April 29: Health Centers – HHS through the HRSA awarded over $32 million in funds to organizations who will provide health centers with critical COVID-19 related training, technical assistance, and health information technology support, This includes an award made to the New Jersey Primary Care Association.
April 27: Providers in Rural & Underserved Communities – CMS proposes to enhance the medical workforce in rural and underserved communities to support COVID-19 recovery and beyond.
April 23: All Providers & Residents – The FDA and CDC issued a press release lifting the recommended pause on the use of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine following a thorough safety review.
April 23: All Providers & Residents – HHS launched the “We Can Do This” public education campaign to increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines and encourage vaccination
April 21: All Providers & Residents – The CDC published an article on what you should know about the possibility of COVID-19 illness after vaccination
April 20: Substance Use Disorder Patients & Providers – The CDC released guidance about COVID-19 for people who use drugs or have a substance use disorder.
April 19: Community Based Healthcare Providers – HHS announced nearly $150 million from American Rescue Plan to support community-based health care providers with COVID-19 response efforts.
April 19: Healthcare Providers – NIH announced a large clinical trial to study repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19 symptoms and focus on potential interventions for mild-to-moderate illness.
April 16: Healthcare Providers – The FDA revoked Emergency Use Authorization for Monoclonal Antibody Bamlanivimab.
April 13: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC issued a Health Alert, about the CDC and FDA’s statement on the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for adverse events and can provide proper management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. This alert includes specific recommendations for clinicians.
April 13: All Providers & Residents – The FDA published Vaccine Ready: Addressing COVID-19 Health Disparities among Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities.
April 13: Providers Servicing People with Disabilities and Older Adults – HHS and several other departments published new legal guidance and resources to ensure and expand access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities and other adults.
April 7: HRSA Funded Health Centers – HHS announced that all HRSA-funded health centers and Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) will now be invited to participate in the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program.
April 7: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC issued an update about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
April 2: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC released information on what to do if your pet tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
April 2: Healthcare Providers & Laboratory Professionals – The FDA posted a new web page about the SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutations: Impact on COVID-19 Tests which discusses viral mutations on COVID-19 molecular, antigen, and serology tests.
April 1: Healthcare Professionals – The CDC published an update about COVID-19 trainings on vaccination, infection control, self-care, and other topics via TRAIN.
March 31: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC issued helpful information about Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
March 31: Healthcare Providers – The CDC issued updated information for healthcare workers on caring for patients with COVID-19 including clinical guidance, home and hospital care, care for special populations, disease severity, and more.
March 29: Aging & Disability Agencies – The HHS announced through a partnership between the CDC and the Administration for Community Living (ACL), they will provide nearly $100 million to help increase vaccinations among older adults and people with disabilities
March 29: Healthcare Providers – The CDC issued interim estimates of vaccine effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccines among healthcare personnel, first responders and other essential and frontline workers.
March 26: Mental Health Providers – The CDC issued an early release outlining the trends in symptoms of Anxiety or Depressive Disorder and among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 25: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC published updated information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with allergies.
March 24: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The FDA published a webpage designed for Consumers to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines directly from the FDA. The web page includes a video that can be shared with residents and patients outline 4 key facts about vaccines.
March 23: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The CDC issued updated guidance on how to know when you’ve been fully vaccinated and how to protect yourself and others.
March 22: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The FDA updated their communication and infographic on simple steps to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease and protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
March 19: Healthcare Providers & Residents – The FDA authorized the first machine-learning based screening device to identify biomarkers indicative of SARS-CoV-2 infection among certain asymptomatic individuals following a temperature reading that does not meet criteria for fever.
March 15: Medicare Providers – CMS announced an increase in the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. The increased rate is designed to help providers furnish more vaccines by expanding vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff.
March 12: All Healthcare Providers – HHS amends PREP Act declaration to increase COVID-19 vaccine workforce and eligible vaccinators.
March 10: Nursing Homes – CMS issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency (PHE).
March 9: All Providers & Residents – the CDC updated their COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkits page which includes a variety of toolkits for recipients and various vaccine distribution and administration sites and their staff.
March 9: OBGYN & Pregnant Residents – the CDC updated the documentation and guidance provided about the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy registry.
March 8: Underserved Communities – HHS and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) will offer $250 million in health literacy grants to localities, who will partner with community-based organizations, to reach vulnerable populations. The new initiative will fund projects for two years. Cities, counties, parishes or other similar subdivisions may submit applications to the OMH through April 20, 2021
March 1: All Providers & Residents – The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Quidel QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test.
February 27: All Providers & Residents – The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which allows the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
February 26: All Providers & Residents – The State of NJ announced the second phase of a community-based vaccination partnership to provide equitable access of the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved communities by establishing five more community-based vaccination sites in Camden, Jersey City, Orange, Newark, and Pleasantville.
February 26: All Providers & Residents – CMS along with the Department of Labor and Department of the Treasury issued new guidance removing barriers to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations and strengthening requirements that plans and issuers cover diagnostic testing without cost sharing.
February 25: Vaccine Providers – The FDA announced that it is allowing undiluted frozen vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be transported and stored at conventional temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to two weeks.
February 24: All Providers – The CDC released an interactive digital “Coronavirus Self-Checker” that individuals can use when deciding to seek testing or medical care and providers can add to their websites.
February 23: All Providers & Residents – the CDC published a helpful fact sheet on what to expect after you have been vaccinated.
February 17: All Providers & Residents – HHS announced actions to expand COVID-19 testing for schools and underserved populations; increase domestic manufacturing of tests and testing supplies; and better prepare the nation for the threat of variants by rapidly increasing virus genome sequencing.
February 12: All Residents – The NJDOH announced a partnership with underserved communities for a program regarding community-based vaccinations.
February 11th: All Providers & Residents – The HHS and Department of Defense (DOD) purchased an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.
February 10th: OBGYN – The NIH issued a statement calling for greater inclusion of pregnant and lactating people in COVID-19 vaccine research.
February 10th: Employers of Essential Workers – CDC provided a toolkit to help employers educate their essential workers about the COVID-19 vaccine.
February 9th: Healthcare Providers – The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for bamlanivimab and etesevimab for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients.
February 9th: Healthcare Professionals – CDC released a preparedness checklist for transport and arrival of patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19.
February 9th: Acute Care Providers – the FDA provided updated information on using ventilator splitters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
January 28: All Providers – HHS issued an amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to add additional categories of qualified persons authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
January 28: All Providers & Residents – HHS and CMS announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) from February 15, 2021 to May 15, 2021 for individuals and families who wish to enroll in Marketplace healthcare coverage for 2021.
January 26: All Providers – FDA has released their COVID-19 Response At-A-Glance Summary, which provides a quick look at facts, figures, and highlights on the FDA’s response efforts.
January 20: Healthcare Providers and Residents – CDC published clinical mitigation strategies to ensure adequate provision of care for COVID-19 patients, and delivery of other non-COVID-19 essential health services during the COVID-19 outbreak and community mitigation strategies that individuals, partners, and ministries of health can take to slow the spread of COVID-19.
January 15: Medicare– CMS has released their monthly COVID data information which highlights how the COVID-19 virus is effecting the Medicare population. This snapshot covers the time from of November 20ththrough January 1st.
January 14: All Providers & Residents – New Jersey provided an update to the COVID-19 distribution plan which aims to vaccinate 70% of the adult population within six months.
January 13: All Providers & Residents: The CDC issued updated guidelines on how to select, wear and clean your mask.
January 12: Healthcare Providers & Seniors – CCMS issued a final rule that provides a new, accelerated Medicare coverage pathway for innovative products that the FDA deems “breakthrough.”
January 11: Healthcare Providers – CMS launched a web-based platform to help standardize “Section 1135” waiver requests and other Public Health Emergency (PHE)-related inquiries submitted on or after January 11, 2021
January 11: All Providers & Residents – HHS has launched a web-based locator for COVID-19 outpatient treatment sites to help healthcare providers and patients find potential locations for treatment with monoclonal antibody therapeutics.
January 7: Long-Term Care Facilities – The CDC published a toolkit for all Long-Term Care Facilities with links to all pertinent information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination preparation.
January 6: Healthcare Workers & First Responders – New Jersey provided instructions on where to go for individuals eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1A which include healthcare personnel and long-term care residents and Phase 1B which include sworn law enforcement personnel and first responders.
January 5: All Providers & Residents – New Jersey published a vaccine information page which includes a link to pre-register in its online portal for residents who wish to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
December 30: All Providers – The FDA released an infographic illustrating the more than 309 tests and sample collection devices approved for use in COVID-19 diagnosis.
December 22: All Providers – CMS released the list of quality and efficiency measures under consideration for collection of data on effectiveness, safety, efficiency and timeliness.
December 18: All Providers – The FDA issued an emergency use authorization of Moderna COVID019 vaccine and a fact sheet for healthcare providers who will administer the vaccine in the U.S. in individuals 18 and older.
December 16: All Providers – CMS announced it is implementing 21 new procedure codes to describe the introduction or infusion of therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for COVID-19 treatment and the CDC is implementing six new diagnosis codes, all effective January 1st, 2021.
December 16: All Providers – The FDA announced it has authorized the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test, as the first over-the-counter fully at-home diagnostic test for COVID-19.
December 14: All Providers – CMS updated the payment allowances and effective dates for COVID-19 vaccines and their administration during the Public Health Emergency.
December 14: All Providers – The FDA posted an easy-to-follow video with helpful instruction for staff and patients on safely using hand sanitizer.
December 11: All Providers – HHS announced it has purchased another 100 million doses of the investigational vaccine from Moderna bringing the total count of doses owned by the Federal government to 200 million. Doses will begin shipping immediately after authorization is provided by the FDA.
December 10: All Providers – CMS issued a proposed rule and corresponding fact sheet to improve the electronic exchange of health care data among payers, providers, and patients, and streamline processes related to prior authorization.
December 4: All Providers – DOH announced it’s recognizing December 6-12 as National Influenza Vaccination Week to remind residents to get their annual flu vaccine and has aggregated resources and program components here.
December 2: Hospital Outpatient & Ambulatory Surgical Centers – CMS announced policy changes under the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System.
December 1: Medicare Providers – CMS has announced the permanent expansion of Medicare telehealth services and increased payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions.
November 25: All Providers – CMS announces comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of COVID-19.
November 25: Hospitals and Ambulatory Care Providers – CMS announced new flexibilities aimed at increasing hospital capacity during COVID-19 surge by allowing services to be provided outside a traditional hospital setting.
November 20: All Providers – CMS announced updates to modernize the The Physician Self-Referral Law which has prohibited a physician from making referrals to an entity for certain healthcare services, if the physician has a financial relationship with the entity.
November 19: 2018 Qualifying APM Participants – CMS extended to December 13, 2020 the deadline for 25,000+ physicians who were notified in September 2020 that they were eligible to receive an APM payment but needed to update their billing information. Check the list for your name and forms required.
November 17: Nursing Homes – CMS urges nursing homes to complete the 5 free training modules available on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal (QSEP) which is designed to help staff combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their facilities.
November 17: All Providers – CMS announces it will retire all the original Compare Tools on December 1st and encourages providers to make use of Care Compare and update all public facing links to direct your audiences to the new Care Compare..
November 16: Long-Term Care Facilities – NJ Department of Health releases updated guidance on holiday visitation.
November 10: Medicare Providers – CMS announced that during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), Medicare will cover and pay for the infusion of monoclonal antibodies (bamlanivimab) used to treat specific instances of COVID-19.
November 2: Medicare Providers – CMS announced payment adjustments that support at home kidney care and dialysis in an update to policies and rates under the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS)
October 30 – Nursing Home Facilities & Residents – CMS announced their new Nursing Home Resource Center with the latest information, guidance, and data for facilities, frontline providers, residents, and their families.
October 28: All NJ Businesses – Governor Phil Murphy announces mandatory health and safety standards to protect New Jersey’s workers at work during the pandemic.
October 26: All Providers & NJ Residents – Governor Murphy and Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced New Jersey’s COVID -19 Vaccination Plan.
October 22: Providers – HHS announced expanded guidelines to include additional providers that have not yet received Provider Relief Fund distributions.
October 21: Long-term Care Facilities updated their executive directive to allow for Antigen Testing and wider indoor visitation.
October 16: Long-Term Care Facilities – US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) announce partnership with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer vaccines, when available, to residents of LTCF.
October 15: All Providers – Medicare open enrollment gets underway with lower premiums and new insulin benefit.
October 15: Medicare Providers – CMS announced new actions to pay for expedited coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results.
October 14: Medicare Providers – CMS expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).
October 8, 2020: Medicare Providers – CMS announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program.
October 1, 2020: All Residents – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) announced the release of COVID-19 an exposure notification mobile app available for download on the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
September 29: Nursing Homes – CMS announced an update to the methodology they use to determine the rate of COVID-19 positivity by county which impacts nursing homes who are required to test their staff at a frequency based on the positivity rate of their county.
September 25: All Residents – Governor Murphy signed an executive order extending the public health emergency in New Jersey another 30 days.
September 25: Laboratories – CMS released new tools to streamline certification to test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
September 23: Nursing Homes – CMS announced the availability of supplemental funding to 33 states, including NJ, who operate Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs to transition individuals from institutions to home and community-based settings of their choosing.
September 23: Pediatric Providers – CMS Issues Urgent Call to Action Following Drastic Decline in Care for Children in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
September 21: All Healthcare Providers – The CDC updated it’s webpage to reflect the latest guidance on How COVID-19 Spreads.
September 18: Radiation Therapy Providers – CMS announced a new Radiation Oncology (RO) Model that provides bundled payments to participating providers for 16 different cancer types.
September 18: Medicare Providers – CMS announced a new End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) value-based payment model with incentives for home dialysis and transplant programs.
September 17: Nursing Homes – CMS issued revised guidance on ways nursing homes can safely facilitate visitation.
September 16: Long-Term Care & Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities – CMS published Quarterly Q&As from inquiries to the LTCH Post-Acute Care (PAC) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Patient Assessment Instrument Help Desks so that all providers have the benefit of the updates/clarifications to guidance.
September 15: Medicaid Providers – CMS issued a new roadmap describing how to accelerate adoption of value-basd care to improve the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries.
September 14: Hospice Providers – CMS made the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) COVID-19 PR Tip Sheet available.
September 8: Nursing Homes – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced a $2 billion Provider Relief Fund (PRF) performance-based incentive payment distribution program for nursing homes.
September 8: Medicare Providers – CMS released updated “tip sheets” to help Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCH), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF) and Home Health (HH) providers understand CMS’ public reporting strategy for quality reporting in the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).
September 3: Providers and Patients – CMS launched Care Compare a re-design of eight existing tools to make it easier for patients to find doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care services.
August 31: Medicare Providers – CMS announced a new proposal for accelerated Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT), for FDA-designated breakthrough medical devices.
August 25: Nursing Homes – CMS announced Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff and Management. Details on how to sign-up found here.
August 18th: All Providers – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released Healthy People 2030, the nation’s 10-year plan for addressing our most critical public health priorities and challenges including opioid use disorder, youth e-cigarette use, and emerging public health threats like COVID-19.
August 17th: Nursing Homes – CMS released a new toolkit to with recommended actions to mitigate COVID-19 prevalence.
August 12th: Medicaid Providers – CMS released “Reducing Barriers to Using Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring for Pediatric Populations under Medicaid” which identifies best practices and potential solutions for services delivered via telehealth for the treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) among pediatric populations.
August 11th: Rural Healthcare Providers – CMS announced the community and ACO transformation tracks and funding that will be available through the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) model to help providers ensure individuals living in rural areas have adequate healthcare.
August 5th: Medicare Providers – CMS released 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance feedback and final scores. If you submitted data for the 2019 performance period, you can view your MIPS performance feedback and final score on the Quality Payment Program website.
August 3rd: Medicare Providers – CMS released the 2021 proposed rule for the quality payment program. In recognition of the COVID-19 public health emergency, this year’s proposed rule focuses on essential policies and proposals that reduce provider burden and may help in the COVID-19 reponse.
July 31st: Medicaid & Medicare Providers – HHS extended the application deadline to August 28th for Phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and dental providers and provided certain Medicare providers who experienced challenges in the Phase 1 Medicare General Distribution application period a second opportunity to receive funding.
July 28th: All Providers – CMS released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data confirm that the COVID-19 public health emergency is disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities.
July 27th: Post Acute-Care Providers – CMS released COVID-19 Public Health Emergency tip sheets related to Quality Care Reporting requirements for Skilled Nursing Facilities, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, and Long-Term Care Hospitals.
July 26: All Providers – The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recognized the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a website dedicated to noting the related milestones and actions taken since it was signed into effect and a special section focused on healthcare services.
July 21: Ambulatory Providers – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a 10-week virtual peer-to-peer learning community called Telemedicine Hack to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine. CME/CEU credits are availble at no extra charge. Register here.
July 15: ACO’s – CMS announced the release of a new provider engagement toolkit highlighting strategies used by Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to engage providers.
July 13: Substance Abuse Treatment Providers – DHHS announced important updates to Privacy Rule 42 CFR Part 2 which is intended to make it easier for Americans to discuss substance use disorders with their doctors, seek treatment, and find the road to recovery.
July 6: RHC & FQHC – CMS released additional guidance on telehealth services that have cost-sharing waived and additional claim examples for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
July 6: Hospitals – Eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) now have until Tuesday September 1st to submit a Medicare Promoting Interoperability (PI) Exception Application.
July 2: Medicare & Medicaid Providers – CMS posted guidance on the allowance of telehealth encounters for electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) used in CMS quality reporting programs (MIPS, APM and Medicaid Promoting Interoperablity) for the 2020 and 2021 performance periods.
June 25: Healthcare Providers – All New Jersey residents, regardless of healthcare coverage or immigration status, can find resources for free testing, treatment and how to apply for health insurance.
June 24: Medicare Providers — CMS announced flexibilities for clinicians participating in MIPS 2020 including the opportunity for those significantly impacted by the public health emergency to submit an extreme & uncontrollable circumstances application.
June 23: Healthcare Providers — CMS announced the creation of a new office entitled, The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics. The office will focus on reducing unnecessary burden, increasing efficiencies, continued administrative simplification, the increased use of health informatics, and improving the beneficiary experience.
June 23: Healthcare Providers — CMS released preliminary data on COVID-19 derived from Medicare claims. The data provides a highly instructive picture of the impact of COVID-19 by further confirming a number of long understood patterns in the disease. CMS believes that this information suggests the need for a transition from a fee-for-service system to a value-based one that fosters accountability.
June 15: Healthcare Providers — The Red Cross announced it will test all blood donations for Covid-19 antibodies, and share results with donors within 10 days. This will address an urgent shortage of blood, and allow healthcare providers to direct patients to a free testing option that serves the common good.
June 9: Healthcare Providers — The CDC promoted the use of telehealth services to improve safety for healthcare providers and patients.
June 8: Healthcare Providers — CMS released a guide for patients and beneficiaries to help them interact with healthcare staff and aid in the safe resumption of non-emergency services.
June 3: Hospitals — CMS reminded hospitals that participate in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program that the hardship exemption application deadline has been extended from July 1st to September 1st.
June 1: Nursing Homes — CMS announced enhanced enforcement of nursing homes for infection control practices, with increased financial penalties for facilities with persistent violations.
June 1: Reproductive Healthcare Providers — The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (Quality Institute) released the New Jersey Reproductive Health Access Project: Provider Access Commitment Toolkit to educate providers on contraceptive care best practices.
June 1: NJ Small Businesses — The NJ governor’s office updated its business guide for non-essential retail businesses to open later in June.
May 27: NJ Small Businesses — Google enhanced the tools available for small businesses, including online appointment settings and allowing verified businesses to add items like online classes, appointments and estimates to their profiles.
May 26: Hospitals, State & Local Governments — CMS published an updated fact sheet for state and local governments and hospitals developing alternate care sites to expand capacity and provide needed care to patients. It has information on how to seek payments through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
May 26: All NJ Small Businesses — The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) announced they are offering free assistance to any small business in NJ that wants help applying for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The AACCNJ is working with three SBA-approved lenders who have funding available as of May 26th, 2020. Apply online here.
May 19: Employers — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its enforcement guidelines to require that employers subject to its illness record-keeping rules (which is most employers) must now track and report confirmed COVID-19 cases, if they’re work related.
May 19: NJ Surgeons, Hospitals & Surgery Centers — The NJ Department of Health issued instructions for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures starting May 26.
May 18: Nursing Homes — CMS announced new guidance for state and local officials regarding the safe reopening of the nation’s nursing homes. It details steps for infection prevention and control, testing, and surveillance.
May 14: Healthcare Research — HHS launched a $5 million initiative to fund research into the responsiveness of healthcare workers and healthcare systems to the coronavirus on May 14th. Researchers can apply for funding through June 15.
May 13: Nursing Homes — CMS released a new toolkit for nursing homes with best practices from state governments and private experts in New Jersey, New York, and across the country.
May 13: Healthcare Providers — The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) has provided recommendations for perinatal care during the Covid-19 pandemic. These recommendations include creative and innovative solutions to support pregnant individuals while also keeping health care providers safe.
May 7: Healthcare Providers — HHS extended the deadline for healthcare providers to attest to payment receipt from the Provider Relief Fund. They now have 45 days to attest and accept the program’s terms and conditions, up from 30 days.
May 7: NPs, CNSs & FAs Healthcare Providers — CMS announced that a permanent change to the Social Security Act allows Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), and Physician Assistants (PAs) to certify beneficiaries as eligible for Medicare’s home health benefit. Billing codes GO179, GO180 and GO181 may be used for this, as detailed here.
May 6: Nursing Homes & LTC Facilities — CMS issued an updated memo addressing the new requirement that nursing homes and long term care facilities report COVID-19 data to the CDC, residents, and their representatives.
April 30: Clinicians, Hospitals, ACOs & other Healthcare Providers — CMS announced a 2nd round of sweeping changes designed to ease the restrictions around testing, expand access to telehealth services and provide more flexibility to hospitals, clinicians
April 30: Nursing Homes — CMS announced a new commission to assess nursing homes’ response to the pandemic.
April 30: Pharmacists, Medicare, & Medicaid — CMS announced new waivers and rule changes to make treatment easier, including covering COVID-19 tests ordered by any authorized healthcare professional, and expanding test parameters for pharmacists.
April 27: Small Business Assistance — The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small companies has been re-funded and the U.S. Small Business Administration began accepting new applications. Funding is expected to run out this week, but businesses are encouraged to apply anyway, in case funding becomes available again in the future.
April 26: Accelerated Payment Program — CMS announced that it is not accepting new applicants for its Accelerated Payment Program, and has begun reevaluating pending applications. It noted that it had approved $59.6 billion in payments to Medicare Part A providers, and $40.4 billion for Part B suppliers.
April 22: Hospital Reporting in NJ — Governor Murphy signed legislation requiring hospitals to report demographic data to the NJ Department of Health.
April 22: LTCHs, RHCs & FQHCs — CMS and the HHS’ Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response released a new toolkit to help Long-Term Care Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers maximize workforce flexibilities when addressing the coronavirus.
April 21: LTCHs, RHCs & FQHCs — CMS has continued to update and enhance the blanket waivers it offers Long-Term Care Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. It also made staffing and training modifications for Intermediate Care Facilities serving individuals with Intellectual disabilities.
April 20: MIPS, ACO & APM — CMS increased flexibility for participants in its Quality Payment Program, including the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, Accountable Care Organizations and providers taking part in Alternative Payment Models. If you have questions about how your practice is affected, email NJII at email@example.com.
April 17: RHCs & FQHCs — Congress and CMS expanded flexibility and billing requirements for Rural Health Clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers.
April 15: Hospitals, Clinics — CMS updated the blanket waivers it established to allow hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to boost frontline medical staff.
April 14: Medicare — CMS announced the near doubling of payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
April 10: Clinicians — The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced that the boards and committees under its supervision, including the boards of Pharmacy and Dentistry, will temporarily suspend in-person continuing education requirements for maintaining licenses, registration and certification.
April 9: Healthcare Workers — The Environmental Protection Agency updated its massive list of disinfectants that work against the virus, along with the contact time needed to be effective.
April 9: Clinicians — The NJDOH updated the guidelines clinicians should follow for testing patients for the coronavirus.
April 7: Medicare — CMS issued a fact sheet to explain the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to providers and announced that it had reduced processing times for Medicare payments to 4-6 days, down from 3-4 weeks.
April 6: Public Health Labs — HHS announced the purchase of rapid point-of-care tests that provide COVID-19 results in less than 13 minutes. They will be provided to state, territorial and tribal public health labs.
April 3: Recently Retired Healthcare Professionals — New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs called on retired health care professionals who have been inactive five years or less to return to practice. The division is allowing them to reactivate professional licenses temporarily, and waiving all fees and most requirements.
April 3: Open Payments — CMS noted that it cannot postpone the June 30 Open Payments data publication deadline, but that covered recipient dispute actions can be completed within the Open Payments system throughout the year. Covered recipients may review and dispute their data through December 31.
April 3: NJ Businesses — The New Jersey Economic Development Authority opened the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to provide grants to small businesses and zero-interest loans for mid-sized companies.
April 1: Billing Codes — The CDC has updated its official COVID-19 coding and reporting guidelines, effective through September 30th, 2020.
March 30: Hospitals & Medicare — CMS announced sweeping temporary regulatory changes. They allow hospitals to set up remote services and provide additional benefits to their medical staff, plus create a simplified way to enroll providers in Medicare.
March 29: Hospitals — The White House directed hospitals to report COVID-19 testing data to HHS, and data on bed capacity and supplies to the CDC.
March 28: Medicare — CMS expanded its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers that meet certain requirements.
March 27: MIPS — CMS issued a factsheet about the 2019 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) submission deadline extension to April 30, and the neutral payment adjustment granted eligible clinicians who do not submit data for the year.
March 23: NJ Promoting Interoperability — The NJ Medicaid Agency gave the state’s Promoting Interoperability Program participants until June 30 to submit 2019 attestations.
March 23: Medicaid Waivers — CMS approved Medicaid waivers for 11 more states to relax enrollment and other requirements. This includes New Jersey, where pre-admission screening and other requirements were suspended or relaxed.
March 22: Medicaid & CHIP — CMS released new tools to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) including modified rules for payment.
March 22: Quality Reporting Extensions — CMS granted extensions and exemptions for Promoting Interoperability (PI), the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and other Medicare programs.
March 20: Telemedicine — CMS issued a toolkit for general practitioners to implement telemedicine services, for treating patients remotely.
March 19: Telemedicine — Governor Murphy signed legislation expanding telehealth service access and expediting the licensing of out-of-state professionals.
March 18: Patient Hotline/Triage — Governor Murphy announced that NJ 211 has been activated to help handle COVID-19 related calls from New Jersey residents.
March 17: DSRIP — The Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP) reporting deadline was extended past March 31. Email NJDSRIP@pcgus.com with questions.
March 17: Telemedicine — Medicare allowed reimbursement for virtual patient check-ins.
March 13: Medicare, Medicaid & CHIP — HHS waived program restrictions for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.
March 12: Billing Codes— CMS posted codes and payment amounts determined by Local Medicare Administrative Contractors.
March 12: Benefits & Coverage — CMS issued a fact sheet on Essential Health Benefit (EHB) coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
Updated Regularly: Business Guidance — The New Jersey Business Action Center has been keeping up-to-date info on statewide rules affecting businesses.
Updated Regularly: Business Guidance — The White House coronavirus task force has been updating information and guidelines for businesses.
If you have questions or concerns about any changes in programs, policy or regulations and how they impact your obligations and deadlines please contact us.