HHS Extends Deadline for Provider Relief Fund Payments, HHG OIG Opioid Toolkits, and Update on Opening up Practices

We would like to bring you some good news about the extension of the deadline for attestation and acceptance of terms and conditions for Provider Relief Fund payments to 45 days,  the release of 2 toolkits for calculating opioids levels and identifying patients at risk of misuse or overdose, and lastly, an update on opening up your practices.
 
  1. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for health care providers to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the terms and conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they received payment to attest and accept the terms and conditions or return the funds. As an example, the initial 30-day deadline for providers who received payment on April 10, 2020, is extended to May 24 from May 9, 2020. With the extension, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt of payment will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions.
    President Trump has been providing support to health care providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the Bipartisan CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provides $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other health care providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.
    In distributing the funds, administration is addressing both the economic harm across the entire healthcare system due to the stoppage of elective procedures, and addressing the economic impact on providers particularly impacted by COVID-19. For further information on the distribution of funds, please visit http://hhs.gov/providerrelief.
  2. Second,.HHS OIG released two toolkits for calculating opioid levels and identifying patients at risk of misuse or overdose. Click here for more information and to access toolkits.
  3. Lastly, we would like to remind you about opening up our practices. On Monday, May 4, a detailed letter, created by Ricardo Buenaventura, to help provide you with valuable resources to help you open back up from COVID-19 was sent to you. This is a follow up reminder to that  letter.
As you know, America is a very diverse country that has both rural and urban areas with multiple rules and regulations which extend from federal, state, and local. Please check not only the federal regulations, but your individual state and local regulations in reference to various phases of re-opening. As we begin to get back to a “new normal”, we need to proceed with appropriate caution. Consequently, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, with the hard work of many members, specifically Amol Soin, MD, President-Elect, ASIPP, and Shalini Shah, MD, Task Force Chair and other members, have developed checklists and risk stratifications. We would like to pass along the ASIPP/SIPMS office or ASC re-opening checklist and ASIPP toolkit to help you return to work safely.

 

 

 
This toolkit includes a risk stratification chart to help you identify patients who are at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID 19, a flow chart to help you determine when to proceed in low vs high risk patients, frequently asked questions to help guide you, and a risk disclosure form that you may want to give to patients to inform them of added risks.
 
This comprehensive toolkit is helpful, though not mandatory to use. We just want to help provide general guides/tools to the ASIPP pain community. Additionally, we have attached a checklist to reopen an ASC/procedure suite that you can complete. The checklist includes various items to be checked off prior to opening for practices to perform interventional procedures.
 
Filling out this checklist may not only remind you of items to be aware of to help maintain safety, but it may also help demonstrate a “good faith” attempt to prevent the spreading of COVID and safely do procedures to the local state’s department of health.
 
American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and Society of Interventional Pain Management Surgery Centers are committed to advocating for our patients and physicians, and we hope to continue to stay in touch with you throughout the year, specifically in May.
 
Specifically, on May 28, Medicare will hold a meeting to create an NCD (National Coverage Designation) for Facet Blocks. It is important that the Medicare CAC members from your states attend, and more important that your state IPP provides public comment afterwards. Any questions on this issue, please contact Amol Soin, President-Elect, who will be in charge of this effort.
Dr. Amol Soin, President-Elect of ASIPP, is reaching out to each state society president to help facilitate more regional/state engagement this year. We want to enhance outreach to all members of the ASIPP society this year and look forward to more outreach in the coming months.