Coronavirus Flash Update July 27, 2020

Coronavirus Flash Update: July 27, 2020

Alston & Bird’s Coronavirus Flash provides updates on policy and regulatory actions under consideration across many important industries being monitored by our teams. Links to key government and legal resources are provided throughout the report.

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The Latest News

COVID-19 Federal Legislation   

  • Bill 4.0: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s release of Senate GOP emergency relief package missed its target for release last week as the Administration and Republican leaders tried to reach agreement among themselves. The White House dropped their push for a payroll tax cut and less dollars for State COVID-19 testing and they appear closer to a consensus on unemployment insurance benefits among other items with the Senate GOP. Once an agreement between the President and Senate Majority Leader McConnell is reached, the negotiations begin with the House Democratic leaders. Both chambers are scheduled to be out for much of the traditional August recess, and both parties have their “virtual” Presidential nominating conventions later this month resulting in growing speculation on whether stimulus 4.0 could be completed before September. However, the leaders of both bodies recognize the need to enact something as the pandemic continues to surge. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reflected one area of agreement during a Sunday news program interview when asked whether the House would stay in session through August to work on the relief package stating, “We can’t go home without it.” (New)
  • The HEROES Act was the first formal offer on a new emergency stimulus bill, 4.0: For the full details on the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800, which passed the House on May 15:
  • The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. 7010, was enacted on June 5. To learn more, see this A&B Summary of the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. (6/5/20)
  • Bill 3.5: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, (R. 266) was enacted on April 24. Also available are a section-by-section summary and an overview of the health care provisions.
  • A&B detailed summaries are below:
    • A&B Summary5 Small Business Provisions
    • A&B Summary5 Health Care Enhancement Provisions
  • Bill 3.0: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, (R. 748) passed on March 27. A congressional section by section summary is available here.
  • Congress has passed three coronavirus emergency response bills and the first two are below:
  • Bill 1.0: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental (CPPRS) (R. 6074) passed on March 5
  • Bill 2.0: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (R. 6201) passed on March 18

Transition to “Reopening”   

Department of Health and Human Services   

  • HHS has a tracking feature that allows public viewing of all COVID-19 HHS grants and cooperative agreement awards on its website. The grants were distributed through programs in the ACF, ACL, ASPR, CDC, DHHS/OS, HRSA, IHS, NIH, and SAMHSA. (Updated 7/22/20)
  • HHS has created a new public data website as a COVID-19 Resource. (7/26/20) (New)
  • HHS announced a national COVID-19 testing implementation forum to seek input from national stakeholder organizations and to improve the communication between private sector organizations and federal officials. (7/21/20) (New)
  • HHS and the Department of Defense announced:
  • Joint agreement with Hologic Inc. to expand production of COVID-19 Custom Sample Testing Collection. (7/26/20) (New)
  • Joint agreement with Pfizer Inc. for large scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. (7/22/20) (New)
  • The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on civil rights protections prohibiting race, color, and national origin discrimination during COVID-19. (7/21/20) (New)
  • The HHS OCR reached resolution on religious discrimination complaint, which resulted in the Maryland Hospital System patient receiving religious visitations during COVID-19. (7/21/20) (New)
  • The HHS OCR reached resolution with Staten Island University Hospital regarding a student’s religious needs and ability to keep a beard. (7/21/20) (New)

HHS/CDC/CMS/HRSA CARES Act Provider Relief Funds   

  • HHS - the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) webpage (Updated 7/17/20)
  • And the PRF FAQs (Updated 7/23/20) have been updated and capture numerous modifications.
  • Released Notice of Reporting Requirements (7/20/20) (New)
    • More details will be available by August 17, 2020
    • The reporting system will open October 1, 2020
    • All recipients required to report on expenditures through 12/31/2020 no later than 45 days after the end of calendar year 2020
    • Recipients with unexpended funds as of December 31, 2020, will have to submit “a second and final report” no later than July 31, 2021
  • HHS announced its portal for Medicaid/CHIP was open to eligible providers and dental portal was also open. Both are open until August 3. For technical assistance, individuals can register for the webinar on July 27, 2020 at 3:00pm ET. (New)
  • HHS announced Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements for any recipients receiving payments more than $10,000. (7/20/20) (New)
  • HHS announced $10 billion in a second round of Provider Relief Fund aid to high impact COVID-19 hospitals. (7/17/20)
  • State-by-State Breakdown (Updated 7/20/20)
  • The CDC has posted an updated dataset of provider recipient specific payment from the Provider Relief Fund general distribution high impact targeted allocation and/or rural targeted allocation. The dataset includes who has attested to receiving one or more payments and agreed to the terms and conditions as of July 23. (Updated 7/23/20)
  • A&B Hospital Provisions from all 4 bills tracker (Updated 7/26/20)
  • A&B Provider Relief Fund Disbursements tracker (Updated 7/26/20)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services   

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) latest news alerts. (Updated 7/23/20)
  • For the latest COVID-19 related CMS guidance and FAQs visit the CMS Current Emergencies webpage. (Updated 7/24/20)
  • CMS Nursing Home data webpage lists the most recent weekly nursing home submissions, including state specific breakdowns. (7/23/20) (New)
  • CMS announced several nursing home initiatives including (7/22/20) (New):
    • New Funding for Nursing Homes:
      • $5 billion PRF distribution (in addition to prior nursing home distribution).
      • Nursing homes must participate in the Nursing Home COVID-19 Training (described below) to be eligible.
    • Enhanced Testing
      • CMS is requiring all nursing homes in states with a 5% positivity rate or greater to test all nursing home staff each week.
      • More than 15,000 testing devices will be deployed to support this.
      • PRF funds can be used to pay for additional testing of visitors.
    • Additional Technical Assistance & Support
      • In partnership with CDC, CMS is rolling out an online, self-paced, on-demand Nursing Home COVID-19 Training focused on infection control and best practices.
      • This training is a requirement for nursing homes to receive the new PRF funding.
      • The training will be available to all 15,400 nursing homes nationwide, along with specialized technical assistance to nursing homes that have infection prevention deficiencies in their most recent CMS inspection and had recent COVID-19 cases.
    • Weekly Data on High Risk Nursing Homes
      • CMS will release a list of nursing homes with an increase in cases that will be sent to states each week as part of the weekly Governor’s report.
    • FAQs on COVID-19 Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief (7/22/20) (New)

Food and Drug Administration   

Small Business Administration   

Other Federal Agencies

For background and the most up-to-date information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website: HERE. The additional federal agency links are provided by the White House Coronavirus Task Force:   What You Should Know:

Information for Businesses:

Information for Travel and Transportation:

Alston & Bird Coronavirus Links

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