In response to the constantly changing landscape due to COVID-19, there are several topics to consider while navigating the days and weeks ahead. We have created this resource document as a tool to quickly access these topics in one place. We will make relevant updates as they are released.

Please feel free to share this tool with your colleagues and community partners.

The CARES Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal is Now Open
As of April 16, 2020

HHS on CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

UPDATE: The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal  is now open. Providers who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment.

Additional information includes:

  • Immediate infusion of $30 billion into healthcare system
  • Who is eligible for initial $30 billion
  • How are payment distributions determined
  • What to do if you are an eligible provider
  • Is this different than the CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program?
  • How this applies to different types of providers
  • Priorities for the remaining $70 billion
  • Ensuring Americans are not surprised by bills for COVID-19 medical expenses

HEALTHCARE

Disclaimer: The following information was current as of the date of this publication. Federal and state regulations are rapidly changing, so visit CMS and other Federal websites for more current information.

Telehealth and HIPAA Guidance

As of April 10, 2020

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

During the COVID-19 national emergency, covered health care providers subject to the HIPAA Rules may wish to seek communication with patients, such as telehealth services, through remote communication technologies. Some of these technologies may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules.

A covered HIPAA provider is required to follow HIPAA Rules when using audio or video communication technology with patients during the COVID-19 emergency. CLICK HERE for OCR’s list of HIPAA compliant vendors and who is not recommended.

UHC COVID-19 Telehealth

UnitedHealthcare announced on April 8, 2020 that they will reimburse appropriate claims for telehealth services for dates of service from March 18, 2020 until June 18, 2020.
UH Link: https://www.uhcprovider.com/en/resource-library/news/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19/covid19-telehealth-services/covid19-telehealth-services-telehealth.html.

The information and/or advice contained within this work is believed to be true and accurate with respect to applicable laws and HR best practices. It is not, however, offered as legal advice or intended to eliminate the necessity of review by legal counsel.

Add DOS for Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Effective April 6, 2020
Beginning April 13, 2020, for both PPV Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System (HCPCS) codes (90670 and 90732), CMS will return for all FFS beneficiary eligibility transactions Dates of Service (DOS) and institutional National Provider Identifier (NPI) for Part A or rendering NPI for Part B, depending on the provider type who administered the service, instead of next eligibility dates, as previously returned. During the transition to return PPV dates of service versus next eligible dates, Medicare FFS will not return any PPV data from March 14, 2020, through April 12, 2020.

Resource: Mm11335 

Use these 2 new CPT lab codes for detection of COVID-19 antibodies

Provided by DecisionHealth and AMA
Providers have two new CPT codes to report for blood tests to check for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. The codes, which allow reporting of one-step and two-step testing methods, took effect April 10, according to an AMA update.
In addition to the new codes, the AMA released a special edition of CPT Assistant for the codes containing guidance, background information, and coding scenarios.

Coding Updates 4.13

CMS has issued modifiers, procedure codes, and diagnoses codes for COVID-19 related services. These codes are used for E/M services that result in or assess the need for a COVID-19 lab test, when waiving patient’s cost sharing, for online digital codes, for orders or administering COVID-19 lab tests, and more. CLICK HERE to review some of the do’s and don’ts of COVID-19 coding.

Prior Coding and Billing Updates

CLICK HERE for Temporary Medicare Provider Enrollment for Billing Purpose.
CLICK HERE for Special Coding Advice During COVID-19.
CLICK HERE for Physician Services, NCD and LCD Determinations
CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Infections in Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Puerperium

Medicare ABN Expired March 20, 2020

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, is issued by providers (including independent laboratories, home health agencies, and hospices), physicians, practitioners, and suppliers to Original Medicare (fee for service – FFS) beneficiaries in situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied. The ABN is issued in order to transfer potential financial liability to the Medicare beneficiary in certain instances.

Download the CMS latest ABN form: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/BNI/ABN

HHS to Begin Immediate Delivery of Initial $30 Billion

On April 9, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began sending out additional relief funding to Medicare providers from a provider relief fund. This is a $30 billion fund for COVID-19 distribution and is part of $100 billion to support health-related expenses or lost revenue attributed to coronavirus and to ensure uninsured Americans can get the testing and treatment they need without a surprise bill from a provider. HHS is working to eventually include other insurances such as Medicaid.

Funds from the initial $30 billion will go to hospitals and providers that are enrolled in Medicare. Facilities and providers will be allotted a portion of the $30 billion based on their share of the 2019 Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements. These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.

HHS is partnering with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to deliver the initial $30 billion. Providers will be paid via Automated Clearing House account information on file with UHG, UnitedHealthcare, or Optum Bank, or used for reimbursements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from Medicare will receive a paper check in the mail within the next few weeks. CLICK HERE for details.

CMS MLN Matters (SE20011) for Medicare FFS Response to the Public Health Emergency on COVID-19

  • Revisions were made and released on April 10, 2020. Changes include:
    Billing for Professional Telehealth Distant Site Services During the Public Health Emergency
  • When billing professional claims for all telehealth services.
  • CR modifier on telehealth services.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act Waives Coinsurance and Deductibles for Additional COVID-19 Related Services
  • Medicare Part B waives cost-sharing (coinsurance and deductible amounts) for Medicare patients for COVID-19 testing-related services.
  • When waived, cost-sharing does not apply.
  • COVID-19: Expanded Use of Ambulance Origin/Destination Modifiers
  • Covering medical necessary ambulance transportation.
  • New Specimen Collection Codes for Laboratories Billing for COVID-19 Testing
  • Identifying and reimbursing specimen collection for COVID-19 testing.
  • Beneficiary Notice Delivery Guidance in Light of COVID-19
  • If you are treating a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, CMS encourages the provider community to be diligent and safe while issuing beneficiary notices to beneficiaries receiving institutional care.
    Resource: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/se20011.pdf

Prior Medicare Updates

CLICK HERE for Medicare 2% Sequestration Suspension

CMS Re-Opens 2019 MIPS Hardship

As of April 3, 2020, CMS updated 2019 MIPS reporting requirements for extreme and uncontrollable circumstances. CLICK HERE for who is eligible, requirements for those who have not reported, and requirements for those who have reported some but not all of the MIPS categories.

Stark Law Waiver

“Stark Law” Waivers: The physician self-referral law (also known as the “Stark Law”) prohibits a physician from making referrals for certain healthcare services payable by Medicare if the physician (or an immediate family member) has a financial relationship with the entity performing the service. There are statutory and regulatory exceptions, but in short, a physician cannot refer a patient to any entity with which he or she has a financial relationship. CMS will permit certain referrals and the submission of related claims that would otherwise violate the Stark Law. CLICK HERE to see what they include.

Expanded Coverage Affects Private Health Insurance

Guidance was issued April 11, 2020 to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage specific to COVID-19. This announcement specifically implements the requirement for group health plans as well as group and individual health insurance to cover both diagnostic testing and certain related items and services provided during a medical visit with no cost sharing. This includes urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and in-person or telehealth visits to the doctor’s office that result in an order for or administration of a COVID-19 test. CLICK HERE for more information.

Get Your Clinic Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

From CDC
Get ready! Steps you take to prepare your clinic for flu also can help protect your patients and healthcare workers from COVID-19. CLICK HERE for a chart.

Prior Additional Healthcare Information

CLICK HERE for Patient Notification
CLICK HERE for Elective/Non-Essential Surgery Procedures

ALL INDUSTRIES

Daily Temperature Monitoring

Late afternoon on March 18, Governor DeWine offered a directive to all businesses to take the temperature of every employee every day, starting immediately. CLICK HERE to view previously released information regarding Daily Temperature Monitoring.

Social Distancing for Ohio Businesses

Businesses must take the following proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements as a condition to remaining open for business. CLICK HERE to view previously released information regarding Daily Temperature Monitoring.

The information and/or advice contained within this work is believed to be true and accurate with respect to applicable laws and HR best practices. It is not, however, offered as legal advice or intended to eliminate the necessity of review by legal counsel.

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

Under the CARES Act, a required minimum distribution (RMD) is not required from qualified retirement plans and IRAs for 2020. Prior to 2020 a distribution was required upon attainment of age 70 ½. The SECURE Act of 2019 changed this to age 72. Now, RMDs are waived for 2020. In addition, if an RMD has already been taken in 2020, one may roll that amount over tax-free within 60 days from the date the distribution was taken.

Employer Plan Contribution Due Dates

Tax Deduction Purposes:

  • For returns filed by April 15, the employer contribution is due July 15 in order to be taken as a tax deduction for 2019.
  • For returns extended beyond April 15, the employer contribution is due on the normal extended due date of the tax return in order to take the deduction for 2019.

Minimum Funding Requirement Purposes (Defined Benefit/Cash Balance Pension Plans):

    • Contributions necessary to meet 2019 minimum funding standards are due 12/31/2020. But if paid after the extended tax return due date, then the tax deduction is taken in 2020.

Elective Deferrals, Waivers, Quality Plan Loan Increase and Extension

CLICK HERE to view previously released information regarding elective deferrals, waivers, and quality plan loan increase and extension.

Pay During COVID-19 Q&A

CLICK HERE for more Pay During COVID-19 Q&A.
Questions and responses for pay during COVID-19, such as:
1) Do I have to pay non-exempt (generally hourly) employees who are sent home from work because they are sick?
2) Do I have to pay exempt (generally salaried) employees who are sent home from work because they are sick?
3) If an employee refuses to come to work because of the coronavirus, could I fire him/her?

Deferring Deposits and Payments of the Employer’s Share of SS Taxes
The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of social security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes through December 31, 2020. CLICK HERE to read through the FAQs that specifically address issues related to the deferral of these payments.

Prior Information for Payroll

CLICK HERE Paycor Earning Codes During COVID-19

Indiana Unemployment

If you are eligible to receive unemployment, generally the weekly benefit rate in Indiana is 47% of your average weekly wage. To calculate your average weekly wage, divide your total wages during the base period by 52. The weekly benefit rate is subject to a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $390.
To file for Indiana Unemployment, go to www.Unemployment.IN.gov
CLICK HERE for information you will need.

Kentucky Unemployment

When you file for Kentucky Unemployment, your weekly benefit amount is generally awarded between $39-$552 per week. If you have earned at least $6,000 a year, you should qualify for a benefit and if you earned at least $46,000 a year, you are likely to be awarded the maximum benefit. If you have only lost a portion of your hours, you may still qualify for unemployment based on the time lost. However, in no case may the weekly benefit amount exceed the annually established maximum levels.

CLICK HERE for unemployment calculator, Q&A, how to file, what you will need to file, and claims processing.

Ohio Unemployment

When you file for Ohio Unemployment, your weekly benefit amount is generally computed at one-half of your average weekly wage during your base period. If you have only lost a portion of your hours, you may still qualify for unemployment based on the time lost. However, in no case may the weekly benefit amount exceed the annually established maximum levels (based on the number of allowable dependents claimed.

CLICK HERE for classification table, working wages, apply for benefits, Q&A, and more.

Sample templates available

CLICK HERE for the Microsoft Word – COVID-19 COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Form and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Form.
CLICK HERE for the Microsoft Excel – Tracking payroll for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Paid Family Leave

Prior Information for Human Resources

CLICK HERE for information on Family First Conronavirus Response Act
CLICK HERE for Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion
CLICK HERE for USERRA Obligations for Employers
CLICK HERE for Consideration for Reducing Hours or Terminating Employment
CLICK HERE for sample letters.
CLICK HERE for Ohio and Health Insurance Premium Deferral

IRS Announcement

Last month, the IRS announced that certain taxpayers generally have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15. The IRS has extended this relief to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The extensions apply to many forms and tax payments, including:

  • Form 1040-series returns and Q1 and Q2 Form 1040-ES estimate payments
  • Form 1120-series returns and Q1 and Q2 Form 1120-W estimate payments
  • Form 1065 and Form 1066 returns
  • Form 1041-series returns and Q1 and Q2 Form 1041-ES estimate payments
  • Form 706-series returns
  • Form 709
  • Form 990-series annual information returns or notices (Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-BL, 990-N (e-postcard))

See Notice 2020-23 and Rev. Proc. 2018-58 for more information, including a complete list of affected forms, tax payments and other time-sensitive actions.

Please note that federal extensions of time do not guarantee extensions of time for the corresponding state or local returns. Please contact your ScrogginsGrear representative if you have any questions for how this will affect you or your business.

Taxpayers should be aware of COVID-19 related scams

As of 4/16/2020.
Taxpayers should be on the lookout for IRS impersonation calls, texts and email phishing attempts about the COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments. These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. CLICK HERE to learn more about what you should know to protect yourself from scammers.

Deferral of the excess business loss limits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the 2017 Tax Law) provided that net tax losses from active businesses in excess of an inflation-adjusted $500,000 for joint filers, or an inflation-adjusted $250,000 for other covered taxpayers, are to be treated as net operating loss carry forwards in the following tax year. The covered taxpayers are individuals (or estates or trusts) that own businesses directly or as partners in a partnership or shareholders in an S corporation. CLICK HERE for more information.

IRS Creates Website to Help Those Entitled to Economic Impact IR 2020-72

As of 4/15/2020
The IRS provides details on the distribution of the EIPs that are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). In the information released, the IRS stated that it planned to develop a web-based portal so that individuals who did not use direct deposit on their last tax return could provide their banking information to the IRS, which would allow these individuals to receive their EIP more quickly. This is the “Get My Payment” tool. CLICK HERE to read more.

Lapse in Appropriations Notice:

As of 4/16/2020.
The SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL advances) based on available appropriations funding.
EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first come, first-served basis.
CLICK HERE to learn more.

Prior Updates from COVID-19 Financial Assistance and COVID-19 Tax Information

Includes: Tax Filing and Payment Deadline FAQs, Financial Considerations, Tax Aspects of the CARES Act, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants, and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Process Checklist.
CLICK HERE to access prior updates.

CLICK HERE Paycheck Protection Program Loans
*as of 4/16/2020, the SBA is unable to accept new PPPL applications.
CLICK HERE Paycheck Protection Program FAQ
*as of 4/16/2020, the SBA is unable to accept new EIDL applications.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Guide and Checklist

On April 9, 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce updated their guide and checklist for small businesses. Learn if you are eligible, what lenders are looking for, how much can you borrow, and more. CLICK HERE to download the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Guide and Checklist.

General Q&A For Employers

Review the questions from other employers such as informing other employees when one member tested positive, what to do when coming into contact with someone who tested positive, and more. CLICK HERE for listing of general Q&A for employers.

Important Phone Numbers and Additional Resources

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive list of important phone numbers and additional resources.