Tell Congress to Waive Restrictions on the Use of Telehealth: Support the CONNECT for Health Act (H.R. 4923/S. 2741)

Email your members of Congress urging them to include the CONNECT for Health Act in any future COVID-19 legislation.




COVID-19 Helpful Links

NASL Summary of CMS’s Interim Final Rule to Provide Much Needed Relief for Medicare Providers 
member login required





​NASL 31st Annual Meeting
October 4-7, 2020
Austin, Texas



NASL Webinar - Lab Tests for COVID-19:  An Executive Briefing on Testing for Nursing Facility Patients and Staff   
Full Replay or Slides only


NASL Webinar - Medicare Telehealth: What is is and what it is not in the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency
Full Replay or Slides only 

NASL member login required


Click the calendar for upcoming NASL Committee and Workgroup calls.








In a Coronavirus FAQ document (See pages 70-71) dated May 27, 2020, and released today, CMS made a breakthrough announcement, allowing institutional settings to furnish and bill for outpatient therapy delivered via telehealth during the ongoing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.   (5/28/20)

HHS announced the distribution of billions of dollars in additional relief funds to SNFs to help those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The HHS announcement acknowledges the unique challenges that nursing facilities have in caring for high-risk seniors and vulnerable patients.  (5/22/20)

CMS announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately following appropriation of another $175 billion for healthcare provider relief payments.  CMS had expanded these temporary loan programs to ensure providers and suppliers had the resources needed to combat the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  (4/27/20)

CMS released the Medicare Program: Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities; Updates to the Value-Based Purchasing Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2021.  Read the CMS fact sheet here.  Read NASL's Summary here.  (4/10/20)

The CARES Act appropriated $100 billion HHS’ Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, to be used for reimbursement to hospitals and healthcare providers for expenses and lost revenue related the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance was released today on how the first $30 billion of the $100 billion allocated for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund will be distributed.  (4/10/20)

New COVID-19 recommendations issued by CMS late last week state, “Medicare is now covering COVID-19 testing when furnished to eligible beneficiaries by certified laboratories. These laboratories may also choose to enter facilities to conduct COVID-19 testing.” The Interim Final Rule released on March 30 includes an increased specimen draw fee for Medicare-enrolled labs for testing related to COVID-19. (4/6/20)

NASL submitted comments on the Draft 2020 – 2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan that was released by the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS') Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in January 2020. Because the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be realized, we cautioned against finalizing a plan until such time as there can be some evaluation of the impact of temporary and other provisions enacted in response to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  ​Read NASL's comments(4/3/20)

NASL, the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality & Innovation (APTQI), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the National Association of Rehabilitation Providers & Agencies (NARA) asked Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to utilize their new authority under Section 3703 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to issue a blanket waiver expanding the types of providers eligible to furnish telehealth services under Medicare so as to include physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants and speech language pathologists during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  (4/2/20)

CMS has posted an update of the PDPM DLL Package (V1.0004 FINAL). This update adds support for the new ICD-10-CM code for Coronavirus, U07.1, which takes effect today. Please note that this code is ONLY in effect for assessments with target date of April 1, 2020 and later. The package contains updated test files and documentation.  In addition, CMS updated the ICD-10-CM to Clinical Category Mapping for PDPM. The updated file is available on the PDPM webpage.  Download the file marked, FY 2020 PDPM ICD-10 Mappings (ZIP) (revision posted 03-31-2020).   (4/1/20)

Late yesterday, CMS released Medicare & Medicaid Programs; Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Interim Final Rule with Comment Period, containing numerous provisions on telehealth and Communication Technology-Based Services (CTBS) such as check-ins and virtual visits that are in a separate category than telehealth. It also contains lab specimen draw fee changes and advance payment changes. 

  • Review the Interim Final Rule here.
  • Review providers specific Fact Sheets here.

CMS Suspends Pre- & Post-Payment Medical Reviews (e.g., Targeted Probe & Educate (TPE)) (3/31/20)
Novitas, which is the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdictions JH & JL, was the first MAC to post a notice announcing that it has suspended Targeted Probe & Educate activities until further notice, pursuant to CMS’ direction due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Access Novitas’ TPE posts:

  • Novitas post for Jurisdiction JH Providers in AR, CO, LA, MS, NM, OK, TX, Indian Health & Veteran Affairs
  • Novitas post for Jurisdiction JL Providers in DC, DE, MD, NJ & PA

President Trump on Friday signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).   NASL's summary of the CARES Act is available to NASL members.  (3/30/20)

CMS notified health information technology vendors that it intends to delay implementing MDS 3.0 v. 1.18.1, which would remove Section G items from the OBRA assessments. CMS cites feedback from stakeholders in explaining the delay. MDS 3.0 v1.18.1 Implementation had been scheduled for October 1, 2020. (3/19/20)

CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  CMS has released a Virtual Toolkit to help you stay up-to-date on CMS materials available on COVID-19.  (3/17/20)

Late Friday night CMS released revised nursing home guidance announced yesterday by the President and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  The guidance memo says facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation.  The guidance does now contain an exception to restrictions for health care workers.  This exception is:

Health care workers: Facilities should follow CDC guidelines for restricting access to health care workers found at This also applies to other health care workers, such as hospice workers, EMS personnel, or dialysis technicians, that provide care to residents. They should be permitted to come into the facility as long as they meet the CDC guidelines for health care workers. Facilities should contact their local health department for questions, and frequently review the CDC website dedicated to COVID-19 for health care professionals (  (3/17/20)

COVID-19 Guidance:  The CDC has a page dedicated to long term care facilities.  We understand the information is being updated daily, so check their website regularly:  COVID-10 Information for Long Term Care Providers​

The Society for Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine (AMDA) has posted their guidance here

The American Health Care Association has sent out at least two communications to their members and has an information page found here:  

NASL has established a webpage of information on the Coronavirus COVID-19 for NASL members here: