AKI

Critical clarification from CMS: PD catheter and vascular access placement is essential

After much dialogue with the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and other members of the kidney community, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today clarified its guidance on deferring nonessential surgical procedures during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

CMS: Further guidance on telehealth, exceptions and extensions for quality measure reporting and data submission

Given the enormous impact of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the healthcare system, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and other members of the kidney community have requested regulatory relief for clinicians and facilities on multiple fronts over the past few weeks. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services are responding in kind. The following is an update for ASN members on several major steps of importance to nephrologists and their patients that CMS has taken, particularly:

ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, meets with President Donald Trump

Calling attention to the unique needs of kidney patients in the COVID-19 Pandemic and advocating for specific policy changes to meet those needs was ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN’s focus during a meeting Wednesday afternoon with President Donald Trump. The meeting also included Vice President Mike Pence, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M.

ASN Recommends Temporary Policy Changes to Trump Administration Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The approximately 500,000 Americans on dialysis and 222,000 Americans with kidney transplants are among the most vulnerable to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. ASN is coordinating with the federal government to address the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the highest quality of care for those affected by kidney disease.

In a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azar, ASN suggests multiple temporary policy changes in the context of this pandemic that affect those living with kidney disease including:

Teleheath Waiver: Due to COVID-19, Medicare opening telehealth to non-public facing applications

In the wake of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, the Medicare program is expanding telehealth coverage enabling clinicians to provide a wider range of health care services to their patients without those patients having to travel to a health care facility thereby reducing exposure. The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) strongly supports this bold move. Retroactive to March 6, 2020, Medicare, under waiver authority, will temporarily allow and pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.

Summary of ASN/NephJC Twitter Chat: COVID-19 and the Kidneys

Gretchen Brandt MD, FASN - Washington, DC
 

American Board of Internal Medicine Update on COVID-19, Spring Assessments Cancelled

ABIM announced that they have cancelled all spring assessments. No physician will have their certification status negatively impacted due to this decision. Click here for ABIM updates on COVID-19. Please contact ABIM directly with questions.

New CPT Code Available for Reporting and Tracking COVID-19

A new CPT® code, 87635, has been released for immediate use for novel coronavirus testing offered by hospitals, health systems, and laboratories in the United States.  The code became effective Friday, March 13, 2020, for reporting of novel coronavirus tests across the entire healthcare system. Because of the immediate release and use of the code, clinicians will need to manually upload this code descriptor into their electronic health record (EHR) system.

Coronavirus and ACE2: What is the evidence regarding ACEis and ARBs?

As concerned physicians and scientists working in this area, we summarize the evidence on the NephJC website, The Coronavirus Conundrum: ACE2 and Hypertension Edition, (which will be updated in real time) and call for greater understanding and systematic data gathering, rather than hasty decision-making based upon incomplete or inaccurate information, or unjustified extrapolations.

Baylor College of Medicine publicly endorses Medicare’s proposed rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage

This week, the Baylor College of Medicine became the first academic center and care provider to publicly announce its support for the changes included in Medicare’s proposed rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organizations – joining the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in its support of the proposed rule.

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