Coronavirus Resources – January 20, 2022

Updated CMS Guidance for the Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule
Following SCOTUS’s decision (referenced above) allowing CMS to move forward with its COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (“IFC”), the agency posted a guidance memorandum for health care entities to comply with its new Condition of Participation, found at 42 C.F.R. 482.42(g).  The memorandum applies to 24 states where the IFC had been enjoined by courts, and it supplements CMS’s December 28, 2021, Memorandum directed to state surveyors where the IFC was not subject to judicial interference.

Renewed Public Health Emergency
On January 14, 2022, Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), renewed the nationwide Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The renewed PHE went into effect on January 16th and is effective for 90 days; accordingly, see CMS’s list of blanket waivers for regulatory changes tied to the PHE.

OIG:  New Work Plans for January 2022 Posted
On January 18, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published a list of eight recently added Work Plans.  Notably, OIG will perform a nationwide audit to determine whether hospitals that received Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) payments under the CARES Act complied with the PRF requirement to refrain from pursuing the collection of surprise, out-of-network billing related to presumptive or actual COVID-19 patients.