August 25, 2020
The deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding has been extended from August 28 to September 13, 2020.
July 2, 2020
A group of Democratic senators sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar regarding how much coronavirus relief funding appropriated by Congress has gone toward private equity owners and other business executives. The letter was led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and also signed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kamala Harris (D-Calif), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
June 17, 2020
On June 17, the Small Business Administration and Department of the Treasury announced a new, simplified “EZ” version of the loan forgiveness application for certain borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program. The Administration also announced a revised 5-page version of the full loan forgiveness application to ease certain requirements for borrowers. Learn more about eligibility and begin the simplified applications for PPP loan forgiveness.
May 1, 2020
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its conservation strategies for personal protective equipment.
April 27, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a new Frequently Asked Question document regarding the second disbursement of support from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
April 22, 2020
ASA has become aware of a decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on April 21 to remove physician supervision of nurse anesthetists, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full statement by ASA President Dr. Mary Dale Peterson.
On April 23 at 2 p.m. ET, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will host a webinar on economic relief for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 21, 2020
On April 21, Congress agreed to $484 billion legislation to address aid for small businesses, physicians, hospitals and testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation passed the Senate, and is expected to quickly advance through the House and be signed into law by the President.
On April 19, CMS issued guidelines for hospitals in regions with low incidence of COVID-19 to resume elective surgeries.
April 16, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has created the portal for providers to attest to the Terms and Conditions to accept their payment from the $30 billion released last week. Providers who wish to keep their payment need to attest within 30 days of receipt of the funding.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released temporary guidance about compounding of certain drugs due to COVID-19.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened its portal to accept applications for its $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth program as part of the CARES Act.
April 14, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has clarified attestation language for the Emergency Fund grants that care does not have to be specific to treating COVID-19, as HHS “broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19.”
April 13, 2020
On Sunday, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) sent a formal communication to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting economic relief and support for physician anesthesiologists during COVID-19.
April 12, 2020
In a letter to Secretary Azar, ASA outlined the various ways anesthesiologists are uniquely contributing to the COVID-19 battle and urged recognition of those efforts through several recommendations including payment for loss of work, enhanced payments or an alternative daily payment mechanism.
April 10, 2020
HHS began distribution of an initial $30 billion out of $100 billion allocated to physicians, hospitals and other health care providers through the CARES Act. The $30 billion distribution is made directly to physicians and hospitals as a portion of their Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. ASA is already aware of several anesthesia practices receiving their portion of these funds. Additionally, the Federal Reserve provided details on a “Main Street” lending program for employers not eligible for the Small Business Administration loan program to assist those impacted by COVID-19.
April 8, 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ASA sent a formal communication to the White House urging the Trump Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to secure sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for the nation.
As COVID-19 is straining hospital systems across the country, ASA has been in frequent communication with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their drug shortages team as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). ASA has shared concerns from members about drug shortages of critical drugs necessary for providing care to patients impacted by the virus.
On Friday, April 3 from 12:30 – 2 p.m. (ET), ASA members are invited to a CMS webinar on COVID-19 flexibilities. You can join with the Participant Dial In: (877) 251-0301 Access Code: 2674453 or stream the webinar online, which may be the best option due to expected high numbers of participation.
The Council of Medical Specialty Societies issued a statement on personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare professionals.
April 1, 2020
During the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declared to respond to the COVID-19 virus, many practices are looking to provide care via telehealth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been issuing waivers and flexibilities to encourage the use of telehealth.
March 31, 2020
President Donald Trump and CMS issued a variety of temporary regulatory waivers and new regulations to address health care’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among a variety of provisions, the changes include elimination of physician supervision of anesthesia services under Medicare for the duration of the emergency declaration. ASA does not believe the temporary waiver removing the federal requirement for physician supervision of nurse anesthetists is safe for patients or necessary at this time. However, we understand the Administration’s intentions to take whatever temporary actions it thinks appropriate to respond to this historic public health crisis. ASA will work closely with the Administration once this crisis passes to end this temporary waiver and to reaffirm Medicare’s physician-led, team-based anesthesia care model – a model that has assured millions of Medicare beneficiaries access to safe, high quality anesthesia care for decades.
The Joint Commission supports allowing staff to bring their own standard face masks or respirators to wear at work when their healthcare organizations cannot routinely provide access to protective equipment that is commensurate with the risk to which they are exposed.
On Saturday, March 28 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET, ASA members are invited to a CMS webinar on COVID-19 therapeutics. You can join with the Participant Dial In: 877-251-0301 and Conference ID: 9409959 or using the webcast here.
President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act directing General Motors to produce ventilators needed for the coronavirus outbreak.
ASA has compiled information on resources available to provide relief for practices impacted by coronavirus.
March 26, 2020
As ASA continues to collaborate with the Administration, Congress and other officials on ways physician anesthesiologists can help treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASA President Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MHA, FACHE, FASA, sent a communication to the White House formalizing key ASA recommendations to address top health concerns.
To aid healthcare professionals and hospitals, CDC has developed two checklists that identify key actions that can be taken now to enhance preparedness for potential or confirmed patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The personal protective equipment (PPE) burn rate calculator excel icon is a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
HHS Secretary Azar sent a letter to the Governors yesterday regarding maximizing the healthcare workforce to respond to COVID-19.
March 25, 2020
The FDA has released a letter delineating FDA’s Recommendations for Ventilator Supply Mitigation Strategies to professional societies.
March 24, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced more than $560 million has been awarded by the CDC to states, territories, and more to combat COVID-19.
March 23, 2020
Joint Position Statement. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) and American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) believe that the safety of anesthesia professionals is of utmost importance in developing policies related to personal protective equipment (PPE) due to close patient contact and the need for airway instrumentation.
ASA and SCCM agree to collaborate to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including rapid development of focused critical care training for anesthesiologists, instruction for converting anesthesia machines to ventilators and training resources for respiratory therapists.
March 22, 2020
On March 22, 2020, the FDA issued an immediately in effect guidance outlining a policy intended to help increase availability of ventilators and their accessories as well as other respiratory devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FDA is issuing this guidance to provide a policy to help expand the availability of ventilators as well as other respiratory devices and their accessories during this pandemic.
CMS announced unprecedented relief for the clinicians, providers, and facilities participating in Medicare quality reporting programs including the 1.2 million clinicians in the Quality Payment Program and on the front lines of America’s fight against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
March 19, 2020
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is continuing to work with the Trump Administration, Congress and other stakeholders to support physician anesthesiologists and their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, ASA is aware of efforts by some organizations to leverage the COVID-19 crisis to their benefit.
Physician anesthesiologists may be called to serve as intensivists as our health system prepares for an influx of COVID-19 patients. Current focus is on patient care but, in time, billing concerns will need to be addressed. This article provides information on reporting critical care services.
March 17, 2020
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) applauds U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and a group of Senate leaders for introducing the Commission on America’s Medical Security Act. This bill aligns with an ASA recommendation to enact legislation requiring a risk assessment of foreign source active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which stemmed from a 2018 health care Summit hosted by ASA, “Drug Shortages as a Matter of National Security: Improving the Resilience of the Nation’s Healthcare Critical Infrastructure.”
March 13, 2020
On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. ASA staff will continue to monitor the ongoing and evolving developments related to COVID-19.
Disclaimer: This committee resource is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent medical or legal advice. It has not been approved by ASA’s Board of Directors or House of Delegates and does not represent an ASA Policy, Statement or Guideline.