Coronavirus Response Newsletter

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

CMS Announces Increased Reimbursement for Monoclonal Antibody Administration

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has increased the Medicare payment rate for the administration of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of beneficiaries with COVID-19, effective May 6. In addition, CMS has established a higher reimbursement rate for monoclonal antibody administration performed in a beneficiary’s permanent residence or temporary lodging. Additional information is available on the CMS Monoclonal Antibody COVID-19 Infusion website. Coding and billing information may also be accessed on the CMS website

CDPH to Provide 60 Days’ Notice of Ending Waiver for Space and Other Flexibilities on May 17

This morning, during its weekly COVID-19 Health Facilities Call, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) leadership announced they will trigger the 60-day notice to retire All Facilities Letter 20-26.7, which provides a temporary waiver on space and other flexibilities, on May 17. That will put the waiver ending on July 16.

Hospitals that need continued ability to operate as they have under this waiver could request a program flexibility from CDPH, which — while not authorized to waive state statutory requirements — has the authority to issue a program flexibility of state Title 22 regulations.

FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Youth Ages 12-15

On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration extended the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to individuals ages 12-15 (previously it was ages 16 and older). Updated fact sheets for providers and recipients and caregivers are now available.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met to discuss a recommendation for the use of this vaccine in persons ages 12 years and older. Its recommendation is anticipated to be published by May 12 at 8 a.m. (PT) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It will likely also be posted on the CDC’s Vaccines for COVID-19 website.

Free Behavioral Health Assistance Available

For adults and children who have experienced some level of collective trauma as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CalHOPE, a multi-media campaign launched in June 2020, offers free outreach, crisis counseling, and support services. CalHOPE is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and run by the Department of Health Care Services. More information is available on the CHA website.

Next CDPH Office Hours: May 14

CDPH will hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Office Hours webinar for hospitals on May 14 from 9 to 10 a.m. (PT). To participate, visit this link.

Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: May 18, 8-9 a.m. (PT)  

Dial: (844) 721-7239  
Passcode: 7993227 

Summary of May 4 CDPH Call

CDPH has provided a summary of its May 4 call with health care facilities.

Media Coverage

In case you missed them, here are recent stories that might be of interest:

Data Resources

  • State Resources: Monitor ICU capacity by region or by county.
  • CHA Resources: Hospitals can access county dashboards through the CHA COVID-19 Tracking Tool, which includes hospital-specific data on ICU capacity.