Covid-19 Resource Page
VMS Resources for Members During COVID-19
VMS wants to serve as an information resource during this critical time, please look below for COVID-19 specific guidance for your practice. The VMS Rounds Newsletters also contain the most up-to-date information as we are publishing them twice weekly. Click here to read the latest issues.
- VDH - Current Covid Activity in Vermont
- Use of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing in Vermont - 10/1/2020
- Respiratory Virus Infections During the 2020-2021 Influenza Season - 10/1/2020
- NETRC/Bi-State Key Considerations Telehealth Readiness
- Vermont Health Connect - Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1, 2020
- VDH - COVID-19 Vaccine Plan
- CMS Releases Toolkit on COVID-19 Vaccine Billing, Coding, Reimbursement
CMS has released a set of a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate reimbursement for administering the vaccine in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover the vaccine at no charge to beneficiaries. Providers administering the vaccine to people without health insurance or whose insurance does not provide coverage of the vaccine can request reimbursement for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine through the Provider Relief Fund.
Second Round of Health Care Stabilization Grants and Frontline Hazard Pay Funding Soon Available
Last week, the State of Vermont announced they are now accepting applications for a second round of funding through theHealth Care Stabilization Grant Program, for health care providers who have experienced losses and expenses due to COVID-19. The second application window opened on October 19, 2020 and will run through November 6, 2020. Health care and human service providers may use the application to seek grant funding for both lost revenue and additional expenses due to COVID-19 for the period March 1 – September 15, 2020. If you applied for funding during the Round 1 Application Period, you may apply again during Round 2. For theapplication and more information click here.
Applications will also reopen for theFrontline Employees Hazard Pay Grant Programon Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 9 a.m. for employers whose employees may be eligible for a hazard pay grant. Eligibility for the second round of hazard pay has been expanded to include additional employers whose employees substantially responded to the COVID-19 public health emergency during the eligible period, March 13, 2020 through May 15, 2020. This competitive funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with demand expected to exceed available funding.Click here for more information.
Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program Guidance Documents:
- Program Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Application Readiness & Documentation Uploads Guide
- Expenditures Guide
- Peer Support & Program Pre-Approval Certification
- Revenue Changes Guide
- Financial Assistance To Date Guide
- Sign Up for the Listserv to stay up to date on important changes and announcements
- Online Question Submission Form
October 20, 2020 - Repayment Terms Clarified for COVID-19 Accelerated/Advance Payments
Congress has passed legislation that changed and clarified the repayment terms for the COVID-19 accelerated/advance payments. These changes include:
- An extension of the repayment period has been issued and the automatic recoupment will now begin one year after the date the accelerated or advance payment was issued.
- During the first 11 months after repayment begins, the recoupment rate will be25%and repayment will occur through an automatic recoupment of the provider/supplier Medicare payments.
- At the end of the 11-month period, the recoupment rate will increase from25% to 50%.The automatic recovery at the 50% recoupment rate will continue for six months.
If the total amount of the accelerated/advance payment is not recovered within 29 months from the date the payment was made, a demand letter for the outstanding balance will be issued. The demanded amount will be subject toa 4% interest rate.
This week, AHS and DVHA hosted an informational webinar series on the Provider Stabilization Grant Program. Here is the schedule and recordings:
- Monday, July 20th, General Overview of the Program - Slides and Video Recording
- Tuesday, July 21st, Completing the Revenue Expenses (focus on providers that bill insurance for revenue)- Slides and Video Recording
- Wednesday, July 22nd, Completing the Revenue Expenses (focus on providers that mainly take out of pocket, grants, and other non-insurance revenue) - Slides and Video Recording
- Thursday, July 23rd, Claiming COVID19-related Expenses - Slides and Video Recording
- Troubleshooting Password Issues - Slides and Video Recording
The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program application portal opened Tuesday, August 4th. Employers who are eligible applicants may submit applications for a lump sum grant award to distribute hazard pay to their eligible employees. The link to the application portal is here. As a reminder, funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis so employers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Hazard Pay Program Guidance and Application Instructions, including the required Summary Report of Eligible Employees are located here. If you have questions after reviewing the guidance documents, please use the online question submission form and AHS staff will respond as quickly as possible.
- Governor Scott's State of Emergency Executive Orders
- Vermont Department of Health Coronovirus
- VDH COVID-19 for Health Professionals
- Latest VDH Health Alert Network Provider Advisories
- DVHA Coronavirus
- DMH Coronavirus
- Vermont Child Health Improvement Program COVID-19 - 3/20 VT Adult and Child Vaccine Program Guidance
- DFR Coronavirus
- DAIL Coronavirus
- Vermont Ethics Network Medical Ethics Resources for COVID-19
The license renewal process for physicians for the next biennium (Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2020) will begin August 2020 and will close at the end of November 2020. As an acknowledgment of the cancellation of many CME programs and conferences and the many hours of professional development performed by licensees to learn about COVID-19, the Board of Medical Practice has reduced the CME requirement from 30 hours to 15 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, including 1-hour addressing palliative care, hospice care, OR pain management, and 2 hours addressing prescribing-controlled substances for physicians with DEA registrations. These three subject-specific activities count towards the 15-hour requirement (and cannot be waived by the Board as they are required by Vermont State statute). Licensees who have not completed the 15-hour CME requirement may file ‘make-up plans’ along with their license renewal application. For online, free, or low-cost CME options, click here.
For more information about license renewal, see the Board of Medical Practice webpage.
- HAN Guidance on to Reduce Facility-Based Transmission of COVID-19 in Congregate Care Settings
- Guidance for Children/Youth Residential Programs serving DCF, DAIL, and DMH Clients
- SAMSHA COVID-19 Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance
- Quick-Reference Temporary Telemedicine Coding for Behavioral Health Providers Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VT
- DEA Telehealth Guidance on Admitting and Treating New Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
CMS Releases Toolkit on COVID-19 Vaccine Billing, Coding, Reimbursement
CMS has released a set of a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate reimbursement for administering the vaccine in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover the vaccine at no charge to beneficiaries. Because the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be federally purchased, this toolkit primarily focuses on coverage of vaccine administration. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. Providers that participate in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program contractually agree to administer a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of an individual’s ability to pay and regardless of their coverage status, and also may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from a vaccine recipient. People without health insurance or whose insurance does not provide coverage of the vaccine can also get COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Providers administering the vaccine to people without health insurance or whose insurance does not provide coverage of the vaccine can request reimbursement for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine through the Provider Relief Fund.
The provider toolkit:
- Describes how health care providers can enroll in Medicare to bill for administering COVID-19 vaccines when available
- Outlines the COVID-19 Vaccine Medicare coding structure
- Describes the Medicare reimbursement strategy for COVID-19 vaccine administration
- Includes information for health care providers to learn how to correctly bill for administering vaccines, including roster and centralized billing