Coronavirus Response Newsletter

HRSA Announces Program to Cover COVID-19 Vaccination Costs for Underinsured

On May 3, the Health Resources and Services Administration announced a new program — the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF) — that reimburses providers for vaccinations administered to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing.  

Claims for vaccinations administered to qualifying patients — including co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance — submitted to the CAF will be reimbursed at the national Medicare rate, based on the time of service. Before submitting a claim to the CAF, the provider must submit a claim for vaccination administration to the individual’s health plan for payment and have the claim partially paid or denied.    

To participate in the program, providers must register and attest they will meet certain conditions such as billing the patient’s primary insurance, verifying that no other payer will reimburse for the administration fee, accepting reimbursement as payment in full, not balance billing the patient, and agreeing to program terms and conditions.   
Cal OES Distributing PPE Supplies to Skilled-Nursing Facilities  

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) push packs to skilled-nursing facilities. The quantities for each PPE push pack item will be based on the facility’s total number of beds. Additional information is available in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-13.    
ICYMI: CDPH to Provide 60 Days’ Notice Prior to Ending Waiver for Space and Other Flexibilities

Today, during its weekly COVID-19 Health Facilities Call, CDPH leadership highlighted the release last week of AFL 20-26.7, which notified hospitals that it will provide at least 60 days’ notice prior to rescinding any of the provisions of that AFL, which provides a temporary waiver on space and other flexibilities. CDPH leadership stated that it expected to provide that notice imminently.    As CHA shared in this publication last week, it anticipates that CDPH could provide that 60 days’ notice in mid-May, which would put the waiver ending in mid-July. Hospitals that would need continued ability to operate as they have under this waiver could request a program flexibility from CDPH, which is not authorized to waive state statutory requirements but does have the authority to waive state Title 22 regulations.  
Next CDPH Office Hours: May 7

CDPH will hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Office Hours webinar for hospitals on May 7 from 9 to 10 a.m. (PT). To participate, visit this link.   
Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: May 11, 8-9 a.m. (PT)    

Dial: (844) 721-7239  
Passcode: 7993227   
Summaries of CDPH Calls

CDPH has provided a summary of its April 27 call with health care facilities.    On today’s call, CDPH provided the following details for how to sign up to receive the meeting summaries directly: Email [email protected] with first and last name, work email, position title or role, department or organization name, work location facility type, work address, phone number, and county.  

Media Coverage In case you missed them, here are recent stories that might be of interest, including some from CHA’s statewide media call last week: