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  • The Interoperability and Patient Access final rule (finalized in May 2020) included revisions to the hospital Conditions of Participation (CoPs), requiring hospitals that use electronic medical records systems to send electronic patient event notifications of a patient’s admission, discharge, and/or transfer to post-acute care providers and any practitioner(s) a patient considers primarily responsible for his or her care. On May 10, CMS released guidance outlining the new requirements. According to the guidance, a hospital’s electronic system must send electronic patient event notifications: at the time of the patient's registration in the hospital's emergency department; upon admission to the hospital's inpatient services (if applicable); and immediately prior to, or at the time of, patient discharge and/or transfer. CMS has also posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the guidance.
  • In accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, CMS issued a waiver that allows Medicare payment to ambulance providers for treating a patient in place, without transporting the patient, during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The waiver only applies in certain circumstances when the ambulance is operating under a community-wide emergency medical service (EMS) protocol due to the COVID-19 PHE.
  • On May 4, HHS announced $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen COVID-19 response efforts and increase vaccinations in rural communities.
  • On May 3, HHS announced a new program, called the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund, that covers the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. 


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