Today’s Top Story

Reminder: Deadline Approaching for Applications for Additional PRF Payments

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reminding providers that they have until June 3 to accept the terms and conditions and provide revenue information if they wish to receive additional Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payment. Providers who were automatically given an additional general distribution payment prior to 5 p.m. on April 24 must submit to HHS tax forms or financial statements detailing their annual revenue, as well as agree to the program terms and conditions if they want to keep the funds.

Read the HHS press release…

In Other News

AAOS Publishes Open Letter to all Health Plans

AAOS, as part of the Regulatory Relief Coalition, published an open letter to all health plans, calling for the suspension of regulatory barriers, specifically prior authorization and step therapy for both COVID-19- and non-COVID-19-related services, until the healthcare delivery system returns to normalcy.

Read the letter…

HHS Provides Funding for COVID-19 Testing in Rural Areas

HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, is giving $225 million to more than 4,500 rural health clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. The RHC designation is given by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to healthcare practices in underserved rural areas to help ensure that rural residents have access to care.

Read the HHS press release…

Now Available: TJC Webinar on Preventing COVID-19 Transmission in ASCs

A webinar recorded by The Joint Commission (TJC) is now available to aid healthcare staff in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) as they continue to treat patients with COVID-19. The webinar provides an overview of the spectrum of clinical presentations and routes of transmission of COVID-19, with an emphasis on key issues and prevention strategies that freestanding surgical centers should consider prior to resuming elective procedures. Topics covered included COVID-19 symptoms and spread; determining if an organization is ready to resume elective cases; ASC-specific preparations; scheduling; pre-, intra-, and postoperative considerations; and more.

Watch the webinar…

Study: Obesity and Younger Age in COVID-19

A study published online in The Lancet assessed the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and age in patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units (ICUs). The researchers examined 265 patients (58 percent were male) admitted to the ICUs of university hospitals at Johns Hopkins, University of Cincinnati, New York University, University of Washington, Florida Health, and University of Pennsylvania. A significant inverse association was observed between age and BMI; younger patients admitted to the hospital were more likely to be obese. Sex did not make a difference. The median BMI of the patients in this data set was 29.3 kg/m 2. Only a quarter of patients had a BMI of less than 26 kg/m 2, and a quarter had a BMI greater than 34.7 kg/m 2.

Read the study…


Podcast Recap: Congressman Discusses Effects of COVID-19 on Orthopaedic Practices

A special episode of “The Bone Beat” covered the Congressional response to COVID-19 as well as AAOS’ advocacy efforts to shape policy for relief and flexibility related to the pandemic. In this episode, Congressman Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-Ohio), a podiatric physician, Army Reserve officer, Iraq war veteran, and small-business owner, discussed the first three stimulus bills that were signed into law, as well as considerations for the fourth relief package, which had not yet passed both chambers of Congress at the time of the podcast’s recording. (The bill has since passed both chambers.)

Read more…


AAOS’ COVID-19 Member Resource Center Features News and Tools Necessary to Navigate the Pandemic

The Academy’s COVID-19 Member Resource Center continues to expand its content, tools, and resources to help Academy members stay informed and respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The center features a variety of topical areas, including:

Be sure to check the COVID-19 Member Resource Center regularly, as it is updated daily with new information.