Monday, March 30, 2020 Coronavirus Update: March 30, 2020 Practice guidance for pediatric physical therapy, a new volunteer resource, accelerated Medicare payments, and more. Practice Guidance March 30: APTA Offers General and Pediatric-Focused COVID-19 Guidance for PTs, PTAs, Students Two new resources from APTA can help PTs, PTAs, and students looking for more detailed, profession-specific guidance related to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic: one focused on general PT management of patients, and a second that specifically addresses pediatric physical therapy. March 30: New COVID-19 Volunteer Resource Connects PTs, PTAs, Students With Facilities in Need APTA has launched a new online service that helps connect members of the physical therapy profession with facilities looking for volunteers. The service offers two points of entry — one for facilities in need of PT, PTA, or student volunteers, and another for PTs, PTAs, and students willing to offer their services, by way of the APTA Engage volunteer portal. From CMS March 30: 39 States Have Been Granted Medicaid Waivers As of March 30, 39 states have received federal 1135 waivers on a range of Medicaid requirements including prior authorization, provider enrollment, public notice mandates, and fair hearing request timelines. A CMS press released dated March 27 reported that 34 waivers had been issued; by the afternoon of March 30, the number had risen to 39. March 28: CMS Expands Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for Medicare "CMS is expanding the program for all Medicare providers throughout the country during the public health emergency related to COVID-19," CMS states in a press release. "The payments can be requested by hospitals, doctors, durable medical equipment suppliers and other Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers." Qualifications include billing timelines and a requirement that the provider not be in bankruptcy, not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and not have outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments. March 27: CMS Offers Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Telehealth, Telemedicine Toolkit According to CMS: "Most of the information is directed towards providers who may want to establish a permanent telemedicine program, but there is information here that will help in the temporary deployment of a telemedicine program as well." Resources include guidance on choosing telemedicine vendors, equipment, and software, as well as developing documentation tools. From the Department of Health and Human Services March 27: HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on Nondiscrimination Requirements The HHS OCR is reminding entities covered by civil rights authorities that the current COVID-19 national emergency does not change civil rights laws. "These laws, like other civil rights statutes that OCR enforces, remain in effect," the bulletin states. "As such, persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative 'worth' based on the presence or absence of disabilities." Visit APTA's Coronavirus webpage for more information and updates.