COVID-19 Federal Response Update – Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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By Capitol Associates, Inc. 

    • President Trump says the White House Coronavirus Task Force will continue its work. However, the Task Force will shift from focusing on the medical response to the coronavirus to how to reopen the economy and vaccine development. Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence said the Task Force could soon wind down and shift its responsibilities for coordinating the federal response to the coronavirus to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). President Trump also said the Task Force could undergo some personnel changes as it shifts its focus.
    • As businesses prepare to reopen, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is clarifying that employers can ask employees about their known medical conditions and can bar an employee who has COVID-19 from entering the business location.
    • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is reminding providers about their HIPAA Privacy and Security obligations when allowing news or film crews into their facilities.
    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule updating the requirements for nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases.
    • Pfizer began human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.
    • The federal government is stocking up on vaccination supplies in anticipation of the eventual approval of a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Gilead Sciences is in discussions with other pharmaceutical manufacturers to license the manufacturing rights for its promising COVID-19 treatment, Remdesivir, in order to increase production.
    • A new study shows that the COVID-19 virus we are experiencing in the U.S. is a mutated version of the virus that first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
    • Apple and Google are previewing their COVID-19 contact tracing app.
    • Two CMS officials published a blog post in Health Affairs summarizing how certain regulatory measures taken by CMS will help frontline providers.
    • The Department of Justice is bringing its first Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud case.
    • U.S. cybersecurity authorities are warning against hacking attacks on medical research.
    • The Small Business Administration (SBA) clarified that student workers do not count towards the employee count that determines if an entity qualifies for SBA assistance programs such as the Paycheck Protection Act. An entity must have fewer than 500 employees to qualify for SBA assistance.

Please  contact the AHRA Regulatory Affairs Committee with any regulatory questions you may have at regulatory@ahra.org.

 

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