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COVID-19: National Emergency Extended; Post-Infection Conditions

President Joe Biden announced Feb. 18 a continuation of the national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The national emergency initially was effective March 1, 2020, and was set to expire March 1, 2022.

This declaration allows the Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to Section 1135 of the Social Security Act, to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance programs and of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rules.

Study: Increase in Health Conditions After COVID-19 Diagnosis

A new study in the  Journal of the American Medical Association highlights the prevalence of new symptoms and health conditions after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study synthesized aggregated electronic health record data from 40 health care systems, including 338,024 people younger than 20 and 1,790,886 people older than 20, who had health care encounters between 31 and 150 days after testing.

New diagnoses of shortness of breath, heart rate abnormalities, and Type 2 diabetes were more common among those hospitalized after positive test results compared with those with negative test results. Among those ages 20 years or older, fatigue was more common. This study underscores conditions that might develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially among hospitalized patients.

CDC Updates Vaccine Clinical Considerations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued several updates to its clinical considerations for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

For people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, the agency clarified that those who have completed their primary series of three mRNA vaccine doses should receive an mRNA booster dose, for a total of four doses.

Immunocompromised people who have completed a primary series of an mRNA vaccine should receive an mRNA booster dose three months (instead of the standard five months) after the last primary dose. People who received a Janssen vaccine should receive one additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and one booster dose, preferably an mRNA vaccine, to total three vaccine doses.

CDC also clarified people who previously received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 need not delay COVID-19 vaccination.

HCPCS Codes for Newly Authorized Monoclonal Antibody Treatments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes for the monoclonal antibody treatments authorized Feb. 11 by the Food and Drug Administration.

These codes include:

  • Q0222 — long descriptor: injection, bebtelovimab, 175 mg; short descriptor: bebtelovimab 175;
  • M0222 — long descriptor: intravenous injection, bebtelovimab, includes injection and post administration monitoring; short descriptor: bebtelovimab injection; and
  • M0223 — long descriptor: intravenous injection, bebtelovimab, includes injection and post administration monitoring in the home or residence; this includes a beneficiary’s home that has been made provider-based to the hospital during the covid-19 public health emergency; short descriptor: bebtelovimab injection home

Infectious Diseases Society Podcast Features Association Member

In the Feb. 12 episode of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) COVID-19 podcast, IDSA Fellow Emily Spivak, MD, with association member University of Utah Health Care, in Salt Lake City, speaks about efforts to reduce the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on certain populations.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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