April 16, 2020
COVID-19 will continue to impact the healthcare system, hospitals, practices, orthopaedic surgeons, and patients for the foreseeable future. To help disseminate the most relevant and current news, the Academy will publish bonus COVID-19-focused editions of Headline News Now each Tuesday and Thursday through early May.
Today’s Top Story

HHS Clarifies Language for Emergency Grant Eligibility

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) emergency fund grants that started being issued last week led to some confusion due to language that suggested physicians had to attest that they diagnose, treat, or test COVID-19 patients in order to be eligible. AAOS brought these concerns to HHS, and the language has since been modified to state that HHS considers every patient a possible case of COVID-19.

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In Other News

CMS Issues FAQs About the FFCRA and CARES Act

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as well as other health coverage issues pertaining to COVID-19. The FAQs include information on who is subject to section 6001 of the FFCRA, when and for how long plans and issuers must comply with section 6001, what benefits are required under section 6001, and more.

Read the FAQs…

CMS Will Double Reimbursements for Certain COVID-19 Tests

CMS announced it would reimburse $100 for COVID-19 tests that use technologies from private companies. Results of these tests are available quickly; more than 200 samples can be processed daily. Current reimbursements are about $51 a test.

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PPE Exchange Available Through FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established a COVID-19 medical supply or equipment exchange. If you or your organization have supplies and/or equipment to donate, visit FEMA’s website. If you or your organization are in need of personal protective equipment (PPE), reach out to your state, local, tribal, or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.

Donate or exchange your equipment…

CDC: Characteristics of Healthcare Personnel with COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report assessed characteristics of healthcare personnel with a COVID-19 diagnosis from Feb. 12 through April 9 A total of 9,282 cases in the United States were reported. The median age was 42 years, and most (73 percent) were female. Infected healthcare workers reported contact with COVID-19 patients in healthcare, household, and community settings. Most of these patients did not require hospitalization, but severe outcomes and death were observed in all age groups.

Read the report…


Action Alert: Support Practices Affected by COVID-19

Orthopaedic surgeons across the country are complying with CMS guidance to postpone elective surgeries. In turn, they are experiencing plummeting case volumes and struggling to stay in business while keeping their employees on staff. As the pandemic becomes more manageable and these surgeries can take place, many private orthopaedic practices will have become financially insolvent, threatening access to care. AAOS commends Congress for providing relief in the CARES Act, but that support may not be enough. Contact your representative to ensure the survival of this resource and to allow orthopaedic surgeons to effectively respond to the crisis.

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COVID-19 Articles in JAAOS ® Available Ahead of Publication

As COVID-19 has become the top priority for researchers and medical professionals, the Journal of the AAOS ® ( JAAOS ®) will be publishing a COVID-19 special edition for its June 1 issue. To make this research available immediately to all, staff at JAAOS ® and Wolters Kluwer have built a COVID-19 Collections tab on the JAAOS ® website where articles from this issue can be found ahead of publication. Many articles have already been published, including a guest editorial by Peter S. Rose, MD, FAAOS, and William N. Levine, MD, FAAOS, with the rest to follow shortly.

Access the articles…