In the News

Public Health Em​ergency Renewed

As a result of continued consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Xavier Becerra of Health and Human Services extended the Public Health Emergency another ninety days, effective January 16, 2022, until April 16, 2022. During this interim, all 1135 waivers currently in place will continue to be in effect. 

 

Biden-Harris Administration Requires Insurance Companies and Group Health Plans to Cover the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests, Increasing Access to Free Tests

As part of its ongoing efforts across many channels to expand Americans’ access to free testing, the Biden-Harris Administration is requiring insurance companies and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests, so people with private health coverage can get them for free starting January 15th.  The new coverage requirement means that most consumers with private health coverage can go online or to a pharmacy or store, buy a test, and either get it paid for up front by their health plan, or get reimbursed for the cost by submitting a claim to their plan. This requirement incentivizes insurers to cover these costs up front and ensures individuals do not need an order from their health care provider to access these tests for free.

Beginning January 15, 2022, individuals with private health insurance coverage or covered by a group health plan who purchase an over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be able to have those test costs covered by their plan or insurance. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. That means a family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. There is no limit on the number of tests, including at-home tests, that are covered if ordered or administered by a health care provider following an individualized clinical assessment, including for those who may need them due to underlying medical conditions…

…Over-the-counter test purchases will be covered in the commercial market without the need for a health care provider’s order or individualized clinical assessment, and without any cost-sharing requirements such as deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements. 

Read Full Press Release

For more information, please see these Frequently Asked Questions.

Click Here for additional details on the requirements.

 

Updated Materials Available – Visiting Nursing Homes During Omicron Surge

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated [their] Nursing Home Resource Center with two new informational products.

As of January 6, 2022, the Nursing Home Visitation FAQs have been updated to provide additional guidance about visitation during the Omicron surge. CMS has also created an infographic to graphically represent how to safely conduct visits to nursing homes during this time of spiking COVID cases around the country. These two new resources are available for nursing home providers, patients, caregivers, and CMS partners to stay informed about CMS’ latest thinking for keeping nursing homes safe in the current COVID climate.

 

President's Message

Posted: January 13, 2022

Ringing In the New Year 

Like many of you, I rang in the new year from the comfort of home ~ no travel, no large celebration.  Also, like most of you, I am thankful for another year and the health and safety of family and close friends.  2021 now seems like a blur; a year where we constantly looked forward to some semblance of “normal” to return to our collective lives.  IT. DIDN’T. HAPPEN.  Well, at least not yet.  The COVID-19 pandemic (with all its variants!) has taken up residence, and I - for one - am becoming to terms with the possibility that we will all need to learn to live with it! 

What does that mean for me (never being exposed, or having been infected)?  Here are some of my “Always & Nevers” for 2022: 

ALWAYS:  have a mask and hand cleaner handy 
NEVER: agree to attend an indoor function without knowing the details (size of gathering) 

ALWAYS: remember the healthcare workers on the front line - battle fatigue has set in
NEVER: forget I must do my part to unburden healthcare providers 

ALWAYS: seek ways to stay engaged with my community of people (family, friends, colleagues) 
NEVER: rule out the use of technology - zoom is my friend! 

ALWAYS: take time to embrace my “moments of Zen” each day 
NEVER: take “the small stuff” for granted 

Being someone who enjoys her “alone time” (I like to categorize myself as a “situational extrovert”!). I sometimes approach my limit, so I know there are many others (including my wife) who have surpassed their own limits during extended periods of isolation brought about by the pandemic.  Take care of yourself.  Stay safe. Find “moments of Zen” to inspire (and calm) you.  Here’s to 2022  - a year that keeps getting better! 

As always, be vigilant.  Be prepared.  Stay informed.  Get vaccinated. . . .and boosted! 

Sincerely,  

Dee Kornetti  
President 
APTA Home Health Academy 

 

2022 CSM Your Way

You don't have to miss on CSM if you can't make it to San Antonio. Register for in-person or on-demand to access the quality educational sessions you expect from CSM, and your CEUs. Advanced rates extended through Monday, Jan. 17.

The in-person event will take place Feb. 2-5, in San Antonio, Texas. Experience first-class programming from all 18 APTA sections and academies, earn up to 1.8 CEUs (18 contact hours), explore hundreds of research posters, and network with thousands of other attendees. See important information below about COVID-19.

An on-demand option will be available March 1-31, with more than 100 recorded educational sessions from the in-person event curated by conference program chairs from each section. Choose between on demand with the potential to earn up 1.2 CEUs (12 contact hours) or on demand without CEUs.

COVID-19

APTA is committed to hosting a safe APTA CSM event in San Antonio in February 2022 that is consistent with CDC guidelines, with proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of participation required to receive your registration packet, and masks required indoors unless speaking at a microphone. (No refunds will be provided to those who fail to comply with these requirements and are prohibited to participate.)

The in-person conference will be held as scheduled unless public health guidance changes. Please review all expectations and requirements for participation, and answers to frequently asked questions related to COVID-19.

Click here for more information & to register! 

 
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