AlaHA Snapshot 4.3.20

Download PDF version here.

Links in this article:
AIMS Map and Regional Coordinator contact information
Alabama Stay at Home Order
FEMA Public Assistance Program fact sheet
Public Assistance Program Policy Guide
FEMA eligibility requirements fact sheet
CMS guidance on long-term care facilities (press release)
CDC screening guidelines
Medicaid announcement re: physical therapy and telemedicine 
Provider Billing Manual
Preparing for FEMA Disaster Declaration Reimbursement webinar
Accessing the $2 Trillion Recovery Fund for COVID-19 webinar

Link to confirmed cases and testing sites

AIMS Reporting – Data is requested three times a day as follows: 8:00 a.m. bed availability and ventilator use; 12:00 noon bed availability and ventilator use AND PPE needs, both current and projected for the next 30-days; 8:00 p.m bed availability and ventilator use. The ADPH asks that you not follow any guidance you may be given to the contrary with regard to reporting into AIMS.

IMPORTANT – While you are reporting urgent and immediate needs through AIMS, it is important for you to also contact your ADPH Emergency Preparedness Regional Coordinator for assistance with these needs.  Their role in helping to locate resources locally through a variety of sources is significant and complimentary to statewide efforts in responding to urgent needs.  Map and Regional Coordinator contact information attached.

Gov. Orders Alabamians to Stay at Home – At a news conference late this afternoon, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay at home order effective Saturday at 5 p.m. for all Alabamians, with a few exceptions.  These exceptions include: to obtain necessary supplies, obtain or provide necessary services, attend religious services under specific circumstances, to take care of others, to work with essential businesses and operations, to engage in outdoor activity, to seek shelter, to travel as required by law and to see family members.  The order further defines essential business and operations that may remain open. See attached copy of the order.

Eligibility for FEMA Public Assistance Program – Yesterday the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a fact sheet outlining the requirements private non-profit (PNP) organizations must meet in order to be eligible to apply for funding through the Public Assistance (PA) Program. The document describes two categories of eligibility that must be met to qualify: (1) requirements for the applicant (PNP) and (2) requirements for the work being done by the applicant.  While private entities (including for profit hospitals) are not eligible for assistance, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities may contract with private entities to carry out eligible emergency protective measures. Under such arrangements, FEMA will reimburse the eligible applicant for the cost of eligible work, and the applicant will pay the private entity for the provision of services.

FEMA also released a fact sheet describing eligibility requirements that emergency medical care activities must meet to be eligible for funding. In addition to applicant eligibility (as described above), the fact sheet lists specific work, facility, and cost eligibility requirements. It also discusses other considerations for emergency medical care eligibility such as time limitations for the completion of the work, public vs. PNP facilities, and emergency medical care vs. long-term treatment.

Additional CMS Guidance to States re. Long-term Care Facilities – Yesterday, CMS released new guidance to state and local governments and long-term care facilities (i.e., nursing homes) to aid in limiting the spread of COVID-19 (press release).   The CMS guidance regarding long-term care facilities and screening  mirrors the ADPH guidance released yesterday as they both refer to the CDC’s screening guidelines in the preparedness checklist for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  The CMS notice also provided the following recommendations:

  • Ensure compliance with all CMS and CDC guidance regarding infection control.
  • State and local leaders should consider the needs of nursing homes re. PPE and COVID-19 test kits.
  • Implement symptom screening for all immediately and limit access points. All entrances should have screening stations in place. Screening should be done in accordance with CDC screening guidelines.
  • All staff should use appropriate PPE to the extent available.
  • Facilities should use separate staffing teams for COVID-19 positive residents and designate separate facilities or units dedicated to COVID-19 positive residents.

Medicaid Covering Physician Therapy via Telemedicine – The Alabama Medicaid Agency todayannounced it is temporarily allowing covered physical therapy to be performed via telemedicine. This allowance should only be used for medically necessary services that can be appropriately delivered in a secure, confidential location. The therapy provider and recipient/caregiver must use an interactive audio/video telecommunications system and document in the medical record the reason for utilizing telemedicine during the COVID-19 emergency.

Beginning on April 7, 2020, providers may submit claims for dates of service March 16, 2020, through April 16, 2020. The dates may be extended depending on the length of the emergency. Providers may continue to see error codes on their remittance advices with claims payment during the COVID-19 emergency.

Providers should submit claim type UB04 or CMS 1500 with Place of Service Code ‘02’ Telemedicine, modifier of ‘CR’ for catastrophic/disaster to assist with claims tracking.

For a listing of covered procedure codes, visit for the Provider Billing Manual. Please note, this list could be revised as needed.

Joint Commission Extends Suspension of Surveys – According to a letter to its accredited organizations, the Joint Commission is extending its suspension of all regular Joint Commission surveys and reviews until the end of May. This comes after Joint Commission announced on March 17 that regular surveys were suspended until further notice.

Officials note that all postponed survey events will occur once normal operations are resumed. If any organizations go past their accreditation due date, accreditation will be extended without disruption to their accreditation status. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has assured that Medicare payment status will not be affected.

Webinars re. Funding Opportunities – The webinars below are being offered free of charge by the Mississippi Hospital Association, and they have invited our hospitals to join if interested:

Wednesday, April 8, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. CST

Preparing for FEMA Disaster Declaration Reimbursement

Thursday, April 9, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. CST

Accessing the $2 Trillion Recovery Fund for COVID-19