The Kansas Legislature will return for one day to finish its work on May 21, the last official day of the 2020 legislative session. Legislative leaders in both the House and Senate have authorized a number of committees to hold virtual meetings during the next two weeks for consideration of high priority issues they hope to address when the entire legislature returns. KMS continues to urge legislators to consider liability protections for health care providers and the passage of Senate Bill 493, which is KMS’s proposal in response to the Hilburn ruling. Both the Senate President and the House Speaker have identified liability issues for health care providers and businesses as a priority for the virtual committee work in advance of the full legislature returning. Governor Kelly has also expressed hope that an agreement could be reached around COVID-19-related liability protections for health care providers.
While it is encouraging that leaders recognize the need for liability protections, the logistics of advancing our bill through both chambers in just one day presents extraordinary challenges. KMS has provided a narrowly constructed proposal limiting health care provider liability for engaging in COVID-19 treatment and for professional services otherwise medically necessary that were not rendered due to COVID-19 during the nationally declared state of emergency. So far, the legislature has indicated agreement with this proposal, but its pathway to ultimate passage will be impacted by the abbreviated process and heightened political pressure. We continue to advocate for the necessity of these provisions to stabilize our professional medical liability climate with meaningful protection for health care workers, ensuring continued access to care for Kansas patients today and in the future.
Kansas Healthcare Collaborative Hires Executive Director
The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC) Board of Directors has selected Allison Peterson DeGroff as the organization’s Executive Director effective March 20. For the last year, Ms. DeGroff has served as KHC’s Managing Senior Director. She held that position concurrently with her roles as the Director of Communications and Director of Membership for KMS, one of KHC’s two founding organizations along with the Kansas Hospital Association.
PPP and other CARES Act funding update
A webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will be held Monday, May 11 at 10 a.m. specifically for providers in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. The program will include presentations by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and will broadly cover the forgivable loans through the PPP, which can help clinics and hospitals retain employees and pay limited operating expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register here.
This week, rural Kansas providers began receiving a share of the $10 billion CARES Act rural funding. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for health care providers to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days (increased from 30 days) from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. With the extension, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt of payment will be considered as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. You may attest using the online portal.
As part of the CARES Act, the funds are intended to address economic harm due to the stoppage of elective procedures and other consequences of COVID-19. So far, HHS has indicated that Kansas rural providers will receive approximately $382.4 million.
FDA approves Emergency Use Authorization for Remdesivir
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized emergency use of Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. For more information, including the scope of authorization and dosing, see the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers on the EUA of Remdesivir.
KDHE launches new COVID-19 reporting portal
KDHE recently launched an online reporting portal for use by health care providers to report COVID-19 cases. The portal enables secure and confidential submission of patient information and lab testing results without the need of printing records, completing a handwritten disease report form, and/or faxing documents to KDHE. To access or enroll for the portal visit: diseasereporting.kdhe.ks.gov. A user guide is available here.
Directory of Kansas-based PFE suppliers
Kansas Manufacturing Solutions and BioKansas have posted a list of regional companies that are currently taking orders for a variety of PFE supplies: www.biokansas.org/page/COVIDSuppliers.
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