• The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are seeing a rising number of promotions of allegedly bogus treatments and cures for COVID-19 that they charge are, in certain cases, pushed directly by doctors and other licensed health care professionals. Federal prosecutors have moved to shut down and even prosecute some individuals accused of promoting products or therapies. https://www.smpresource.org/News/20200604/352/Feds-See-Rising-Number-of-COVID-Cures.aspx
SMP Social Media:
• Virginia SMP has created a Tumblr page where SMP volunteers will be able to blog about their volunteer experience, common fraud schemes, and more! Please consider following the page Virginiasmp.tumblr.com
• June 1: Medicare Mental Health Services
o CMS has created a resource that can be utilized during your media outreach efforts.
Medicare Covers Mental Health Services
If you have Medicare and you’re feeling anxious or depressed during these stressful and uncertain times, make sure you call your doctor or a healthcare professional. Medicare covers a number of services to support you, including outpatient mental health services like a depression screening, individual and group psychotherapy, and family counseling.
Counseling services via telehealth may be available to you. Be sure to check, as some healthcare providers and plans are reducing or waiving the amount you pay for telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Always take care of your mental health, and call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Visit Medicare.gov or CDC.gov for more information.
This message is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
June 4: Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspections Results Available on Nursing Home Compare.
o CMS posted the first set of underlying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data. On April 19, 2020, CMS announced the requirement that nursing homes to inform residents, their families, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition to this, nursing homes are required to report COVID-19 cases and deaths directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and today CMS is making this data available. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/nursing-home-covid-19-data-and-inspections-results-available-nursing-home-compare
June 11: Nursing Home Residents’ Right to Retain Economic Incentive Payments
o CMS is aware of allegations that some nursing homes are seizing residents Stimulus Checks authorized under the CARES Act. CMS states the “practice is prohibited, and nursing homes that seize these payments from residents could be subject to federal enforcement actions, including potential termination from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.” https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/nursing-home-residents-right-retain-federal-economic-incentive-payments
Social Security Administration:
• Social Security field offices are currently closed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration will be taking Medicare Part B enrollment applications online for working aged individuals who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
CMS recently added an online enrollment option for Medicare beneficiaries who already have Medicare Part A and are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This online application is available to beneficiaries who are 65 or older and have or had group health plan (GHP) coverage within the last 8 months through their (or their spouse’s) employment. Previously, to use a Part B SEP, enrollees had to mail or fax their application. The new online application adds a third option. As a reminder, online enrollment is also available to individuals who are not already enrolled in Part A. https://secure.ssa.gov/mpboa/medicare-part-b-online-application/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=7a8d8906-aadc-4e31-96bb-fe57fc440ee5
Administration for Community Living (ACL):
• Navigating COVID-19 Guidance for Those Administering Title IIIC Programs – ACL published a guide to help you find the resources to best address your nutrition program questions. The guide organizes all of the guidance and information from ACL and links you directly to the resource you need to answer your question. This guide is primarily focused on OAA III-C programs, but also includes information to help OAA Title III-B and III-E grantees navigate nutrition-related matters. https://acl.gov/programs/survival-guide-navigating-covid-19-guidance-those-administering-title-iiic-programs
• IRS Announces October 15th Deadline for Non-Filers to Input Information for Stimulus Payments – The IRS says its non-filer tool, available for low-income people and others who are not required to file income tax returns for 2018 or 2019, and who have not already received a payment automatically, will only be available until October 15. This means non-filers will not have until the end of the year to input their information to ensure that they receive economic impact payments in 2020 for themselves and/or their dependents. https://default.salsalabs.org/T4990a64d-1b92-487f-9ae0-58224efadb04/c0d90421-66f8-43be-8268-7361b4947170
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
• The CFPB has released the Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide to help stakeholders bring community members together in the fight against elder financial exploitation. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/new-resource-fight-against-elder-financial-fraud/
Livanta (Quality Improvement Organization) –
• Livanta is a Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO). BFCC-QIOs are responsible for medical case review, which supports the rights of people on Medicare. Livanta developed a series of videos that will touch on all the important questions beneficiaries ask. Link below contains information about Livanta’s Helpline.
ADvancing States (formally the National Association of State Units on Aging)
• ADvancing States is continuing to update the COVID-19 section of their website with new information as it becomes available.
o Advocacy letters to Congress and ideas for addressing social isolation.
o A list of CMS Waiver Approvals.
o Federal guidance from partners, including ACL, CMS, and the CDC. This section now also includes a list of FEMA approved Major Disaster Declarations.
o A live version of the CDC’s Microsite with background information for healthcare professionals and health departments.
o State Materials produced by health departments and agencies, including contact numbers for public information hotlines.
o Business solutions to help state agencies during COVID-19.