Coronavirus Update

March 6, 2020

This morning, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act 2020 (H.R. 6074), a bipartisan spending package that provides $8.3 billion in new emergency funding to fight the coronavirus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is expected to receive at least $14.7 million and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is expected to receive an additional $8.7 million in funding. Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide $2.75 million in initial funding to IDPH and $1.75 million in initial funding to CDPH for coronavirus surveillance, infection control, and surge staffing activities.

The IDPH Office of Preparedness and Response continues to review and distribute guidance to healthcare partners for the purpose of information and education, and notes the following new and updated resources:

New: The National Ebola Training and Education Center has developed resources for Donning and Doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Healthcare Workers specifically related to the COVID-19 response.

Updated:

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code applicable to laboratories performing certain COVID-19 diagnostic tests. CMS’ first COVID-19-related HCPCS code, U0001, is used specifically for tests performed at CDC laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. This second HCPCS code, U0002, should be used by laboratories that develop their own validated COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will start processing claims with HCPCS code U0002 on April 1 for dates of service on or after Feb 4, 2020. Additionally, local MACs will develop the payment amount for such claims until Medicare establishes national payment rates. Laboratories should reach out to their local MAC with billing questions. As with other laboratory tests, there is generally no beneficiary cost sharing for these tests under original Medicare.

Currently IDPH reports that the state has four positive and one presumed positive cases of COVID-19, with 35 persons under investigation pending.

The latest WHO situation report announced five new countries/areas reporting cases of COVID-19: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Hungary, Slovenia, and occupied Palestinian territory. There are more than 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 85 countries/areas, with more than 80,000 cases in China.

Current CDC figures show a total of 164 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 19 states, with an additional 49 cases among repatriated persons to the U.S. Eleven deaths have been reported.

Additional COVID-19 resources are available on IHA’s website.