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Mosquitoes With West Nile Found In Four Westchester Towns|The Westchester can u buy sustiva over the counter County Health Department found mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus in four towns on Tuesday, Aug. 25 during routine sampling efforts. With heavy rains looming on the evening of Wednesday, Aug.

26, officials warn can u buy sustiva over the counter residents to use insect repellant with over 30 percent DEET to prevent mosquito bites, and to do what they can to prevent pools of standing water, where mosquitoes breed, on their properties. This includes removing or turning any objects that may hold water from backyards, checking children's playground equipment and toys for standing water, drilling holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are left outdoors, emptying bird baths twice weekly, discarding any unused tires and keeping gutters free of debris. Meanwhile, the Health Department will treat catch basins in the county to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in them.

€œWe can make our backyards less inviting breeding grounds for mosquitoes by pouring outstanding water after it rains and we can make ourselves less tempting targets by using repellents," said can u buy sustiva over the counter Westchester County Executive Georgia Latimer in a Wednesday, Aug. 26 press release.These are the first mosquitoes that have tested positive for the virus of 166 batches of mosquitoes in 11 Westchester County locations. Infected mosquitoes were found in Elmsford, Hastings, Mount Vernon and Rye.

Last year, 10 of 243 batches of mosquitoes tested can u buy sustiva over the counter for the virus were infected with West Nile. €œWith so many of us spending more time outdoors, protect yourself and your family by using repellents. Apply sunscreen first, and repellent second," said Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler in the county's press release.New York City announced earlier this month that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus were detected in each of the five boroughs.

Thus far, no cases of West Nile Virus have been recorded within Westchester can u buy sustiva over the counter County this year. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and joint pain. The virus can be especially devastating for those over 60, or with underlying health conditions.

Residents who notice large areas of standing can u buy sustiva over the counter water on public property are asked to contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000. Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts. .

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National Numbers Fifty-eight rural counties had no new cases of coronavirus infection last week.Just under 600 rural counties had fewer cases last week than the week before.And 1,036 or about half of all rural counties saw increased rates of infections last week.The remaining 290 rural counties had about the same number of cases for the past two weeks. Deaths The number of Covid-related deaths in rural America last week rose only marginally, from 1,127 two sustiva best price weeks ago to 1,133 last week.About two thirds of the nation’s rural counties did not have a Covid-related death last week.The largest number of deaths in a rural county last week was 11 in Bath County, New York. Maverick County, Texas, and Lawrence County, Missouri, each had 10 deaths.McHenry County, North Dakota, had the highest rate of death (104 per 100,000) among rural counties. McHenry has 5,745 sustiva best price residents and is located in north central North Dakota. Eight people died there from Covid-related causes last week, according to US Facts data.

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The red zone is a term used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to identify counties where the pandemic is out of control and where local governments should consider additional measures to contain the can u buy sustiva over the counter spread of the virus. Red-zone localities have an infection rate of 100 or more new cases per 100,000 population (1 or more cases per 1,000 residents). Sixty-one percent of the nation’s rural counties are on the red-zone list can u buy sustiva over the counter (1,198 of 1,976 counties). In metropolitan America, about 47% of counties are on the red-zone list (538 of 1,115). Midwest The Upper Midwest continued to be the hardest hit region in the nation, with states such as North and South can u buy sustiva over the counter Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa having all but a few of counties (both urban and rural) on the red-zone list.

(See the chart below for a list of states ranked by the percentage of their rural counties that are in the red zone.)Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Arkansas also had high numbers of rural red-zone counties.Missouri added 12 counties to the red-zone list last week, putting 74 of 81 of its rural counties (88%) on the red-zone list.Illinois added four rural red-zone counties last week and had over 80% of its 62 rural counties on the list.Indiana added nine rural counties to the red-zone list last week, bringing its total to 30 of 48 (63%).Ohio added six rural red-zone counties, and Michigan added nine. But red-zone counties remained a small percentage of all rural counties in those states compared to can u buy sustiva over the counter other parts of the U.S. South Although the South is doing better than it did this summer, trouble spots remain.Tennessee had 94% of its rural counties (50 of 53) on the red-zone list. Statewide, 90 of 95 counties (both metro and nonmetro) were can u buy sustiva over the counter on the list.North Carolina has seen a resurgence of red-zone counties. The state added five rural counties to the red zone last week, after adding 31 in the preceding two weeks, bringing its total to 40 out of 54 rural counties.Mississippi gained seven rural red-zone counties last week after dropping one the week before.

Nearly three quarters of the state’s 65 rural counties are on the red-zone list.Kentucky added 10 can u buy sustiva over the counter rural counties to the red zone, after adding 12 the week before, bringing its total red-zone list to 53 of its 81 rural counties.Florida had 16 of 23 rural counties on the red-zone list, an increase of five counties from the previous week.For the first time in months, Georgia had less than half of its 85 rural counties on the red-zone list. A net of seven counties dropped off the list last week.Texas added the most rural counties to the red zone list last week – 15. But only about a third of the state’s 172 rural counties were on the list.Louisiana dropped 10 counties from its rural red-zone list, the largest decrease of any state last week can u buy sustiva over the counter. Northeast The Northeast continued to have fewer rural red-zone counties than any other region.Pennsylvania added five rural counties to the red-zone list, but less than a quarter of the state’s 26 rural counties were on the list.Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont had no rural red-zone counties.New York had two of 24 rural counties on the red-zone list. West The northern Rockies and Intermountain region were the hardest hit in the West.After adding 20 rural red-zone counties two weeks ago, Montana added eight more last week, putting 42 of its 51 rural counties (82%) on the listIdaho had three-fourths of its 32 rural counties in the red zone.Wyoming had two-thirds of its 21 rural counties can u buy sustiva over the counter in the red-zone.Utah had 10 of 19 rural counties in the red zone.New Mexico added five rural red-zone counties last week to bring its total to 10 out of 26 rural counties.Arizona’s rural red-zone total remained steady at three of seven counties.California, Oregon, and Washington clustered near the bottom of the list in the percentage of their rural counties that were on the red-zone list.

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The Dickinson can u buy sustiva over the counter Press of Dickinson, North Dakota, says the state is on track for its deadliest month of the pandemic. CORRECTION. An earlier can u buy sustiva over the counter version of this article mistakenly said McHenry County, North Dakota, was in South Dakota. We’re sorry for the error. You Might can u buy sustiva over the counter Also LikeStart Preamble Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

Announcement of meeting. Request for comments can u buy sustiva over the counter. Correction. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a document in the Federal Register of October 8, 2020, concerning a meeting announcement and request for comments to implement the Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond can u buy sustiva over the counter to a Pandemic. The document contained incorrect timeframes.

Start Further Info Robert Glenn, Office of Business, Industry, Infrastructure Integration, via email at OB3I@fema.dhs.gov or via phone at (202) 212-1666 can u buy sustiva over the counter. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Correction In the Federal Register of October 8, 2020, in FR Doc. 2020-22149 on page 63567, in the second column, correct the “Dates” can u buy sustiva over the counter caption to read. DATES. The meeting can u buy sustiva over the counter will take place on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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2020 Medicare 101 Basics for New York State - buy sustiva with free samples 1.5 hour webinar by Eric Hausman, sponsored by NYS Office of the Aging TOPICS COVERED IN THIS ARTICLE 1. No Asset Limit 1A. Summary Chart of MSP Programs 2.

Income Limits & buy sustiva with free samples. Rules and Household Size 3. The Three MSP Programs - What are they and how are they Different?.

4 buy sustiva with free samples. FOUR Special Benefits of MSP Programs. Back Door to Extra Help with Part D MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B - and allow enrollment in Part B year-round outside of the short Annual Enrollment Period No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover Payment of Expenses Paid by MSP Food Stamps/SNAP not reduced by Decreased Medical Expenses when Enroll in MSP - at least temporarily 5.

Enrolling in an MSP - buy sustiva with free samples Automatic Enrollment &. Applications for People who Have Medicare What is Application Process?. 6.

Enrolling in an MSP for People age 65+ who Do Not Qualify for Free Medicare Part buy sustiva with free samples A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" 7. What Happens After MSP Approved - How Part B Premium is Paid 8 Special Rules for QMBs - How Medicare Cost-Sharing Works 1. NO ASSET LIMIT!.

Since April 1, 2008, buy sustiva with free samples none of the three MSP programs have resource limits in New York -- which means many Medicare beneficiaries who might not qualify for Medicaid because of excess resources can qualify for an MSP. 1.A. SUMMARY CHART OF MSP BENEFITS QMB SLIMB QI-1 Eligibility ASSET LIMIT NO LIMIT IN NEW YORK STATE INCOME LIMIT (2020) Single Couple Single Couple Single Couple $1,064 $1,437 $1,276 $1,724 $1,436 $1,940 Federal Poverty Level 100% FPL 100 – 120% FPL 120 – 135% FPL Benefits Pays Monthly Part B premium?.

YES, and also Part buy sustiva with free samples A premium if did not have enough work quarters and meets citizenship requirement. See “Part A Buy-In” YES YES Pays Part A &. B deductibles &.

Co-insurance YES - with limitations NO NO Retroactive buy sustiva with free samples to Filing of Application?. Yes - Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application. 18 NYCRR §360-7.8(b)(5) Yes – Retroactive to 3rd month before month of application, if eligible in prior months Yes – may be retroactive to 3rd month before month of applica-tion, but only within the current calendar year.

(No retro buy sustiva with free samples for January application). See GIS 07 MA 027. Can Enroll in MSP and Medicaid at Same Time?.

YES buy sustiva with free samples YES NO!. Must choose between QI-1 and Medicaid. Cannot have both, not even Medicaid with a spend-down.

2 buy sustiva with free samples. INCOME LIMITS and RULES Each of the three MSP programs has different income eligibility requirements and provides different benefits. The income limits are tied to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

2019 FPL levels were released by NYS DOH in GIS 20 MA/02 - 2020 Federal Poverty Levels -- Attachment II buy sustiva with free samples and have been posted by Medicaid.gov and the National Council on Aging and are in the chart below. NOTE. There is usually a lag in time of several weeks, or even months, from January 1st of each year until the new FPLs are release, and then before the new MSP income limits are officially implemented.

During this lag period, local Medicaid offices buy sustiva with free samples should continue to use the previous year's FPLs AND count the person's Social Security benefit amount from the previous year - do NOT factor in the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment). Once the updated guidelines are released, districts will use the new FPLs and go ahead and factor in any COLA. See 2019 Fact Sheet on MSP in NYS by Medicare Rights Center ENGLISH SPANISH Income is determined by the same methodology as is used for determining in eligibility for SSI The rules for counting income for SSI-related (Aged 65+, Blind, or Disabled) Medicaid recipients, borrowed from the SSI program, apply to the MSP program, except for the new rules about counting household size for married couples.

N.Y buy sustiva with free samples. Soc. Serv.

L. 367-a(3)(c)(2), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7, 89-ADM-7 p.7. Gross income is counted, although there are certain types of income that are disregarded.

The most common income disregards, also known as deductions, include. (a) The first $20 of your &. Your spouse's monthly income, earned or unearned ($20 per couple max).

(b) SSI EARNED INCOME DISREGARDS. * The first $65 of monthly wages of you and your spouse, * One-half of the remaining monthly wages (after the $65 is deducted). * Other work incentives including PASS plans, impairment related work expenses (IRWEs), blind work expenses, etc.

For information on these deductions, see The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) and other guides in this article -- though written for the MBI-WPD, the work incentives apply to all Medicaid programs, including MSP, for people age 65+, disabled or blind. (c) monthly cost of any health insurance premiums but NOT the Part B premium, since Medicaid will now pay this premium (may deduct Medigap supplemental policies, vision, dental, or long term care insurance premiums, and the Part D premium but only to the extent the premium exceeds the Extra Help benchmark amount) (d) Food stamps not counted. You can get a more comprehensive listing of the SSI-related income disregards on the Medicaid income disregards chart.

As for all benefit programs based on financial need, it is usually advantageous to be considered a larger household, because the income limit is higher. The above chart shows that Households of TWO have a higher income limit than households of ONE. The MSP programs use the same rules as Medicaid does for the Disabled, Aged and Blind (DAB) which are borrowed from the SSI program for Medicaid recipients in the “SSI-related category.” Under these rules, a household can be only ONE or TWO.

18 NYCRR 360-4.2. See DAB Household Size Chart. Married persons can sometimes be ONE or TWO depending on arcane rules, which can force a Medicare beneficiary to be limited to the income limit for ONE person even though his spouse who is under 65 and not disabled has no income, and is supported by the client applying for an MSP.

EXAMPLE. Bob's Social Security is $1300/month. He is age 67 and has Medicare.

His wife, Nancy, is age 62 and is not disabled and does not work. Under the old rule, Bob was not eligible for an MSP because his income was above the Income limit for One, even though it was well under the Couple limit. In 2010, NYS DOH modified its rules so that all married individuals will be considered a household size of TWO.

DOH GIS 10 MA 10 Medicare Savings Program Household Size, June 4, 2010. This rule for household size is an exception to the rule applying SSI budgeting rules to the MSP program. Under these rules, Bob is now eligible for an MSP.

When is One Better than Two?. Of course, there may be couples where the non-applying spouse's income is too high, and disqualifies the applying spouse from an MSP. In such cases, "spousal refusal" may be used SSL 366.3(a).

(Link is to NYC HRA form, can be adapted for other counties). 3. The Three Medicare Savings Programs - what are they and how are they different?.

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). The QMB program provides the most comprehensive benefits.

Available to those with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the QMB program covers virtually all Medicare cost-sharing obligations. Part B premiums, Part A premiums, if there are any, and any and all deductibles and co-insurance. QMB coverage is not retroactive.

The program’s benefits will begin the month after the month in which your client is found eligible. ** See special rules about cost-sharing for QMBs below - updated with new CMS directive issued January 2012 ** See NYC HRA QMB Recertification form ** Even if you do not have Part A automatically, because you did not have enough wages, you may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In Program, in which people eligible for QMB who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium (Materials by the Medicare Rights Center). 2.

Specifiedl Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). For those with incomes between 100% and 120% FPL, the SLMB program will cover Part B premiums only. SLMB is retroactive, however, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months.

3. Qualified Individual (QI-1). For those with incomes between 120% and 135% FPL, and not receiving Medicaid, the QI-1 program will cover Medicare Part B premiums only.

QI-1 is also retroactive, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months. However, QI-1 retroactive coverage can only be provided within the current calendar year. (GIS 07 MA 027) So if you apply in January, you get no retroactive coverage.

Q-I-1 recipients would be eligible for Medicaid with a spend-down, but if they want the Part B premium paid, they must choose between enrolling in QI-1 or Medicaid. They cannot be in both. It is their choice.

DOH MRG p. 19. In contrast, one may receive Medicaid and either QMB or SLIMB.

4. Four Special Benefits of MSPs (in addition to NO ASSET TEST). Benefit 1.

Back Door to Medicare Part D "Extra Help" or Low Income Subsidy -- All MSP recipients are automatically enrolled in Extra Help, the subsidy that makes Part D affordable. They have no Part D deductible or doughnut hole, the premium is subsidized, and they pay very low copayments. Once they are enrolled in Extra Help by virtue of enrollment in an MSP, they retain Extra Help for the entire calendar year, even if they lose MSP eligibility during that year.

The "Full" Extra Help subsidy has the same income limit as QI-1 - 135% FPL. However, many people may be eligible for QI-1 but not Extra Help because QI-1 and the other MSPs have no asset limit. People applying to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help might be rejected for this reason.

Recent (2009-10) changes to federal law called "MIPPA" requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to share eligibility data with NYSDOH on all persons who apply for Extra Help/ the Low Income Subsidy. Data sent to NYSDOH from SSA will enable NYSDOH to open MSP cases on many clients. The effective date of the MSP application must be the same date as the Extra Help application.

Signatures will not be required from clients. In cases where the SSA data is incomplete, NYSDOH will forward what is collected to the local district for completion of an MSP application. The State implementing procedures are in DOH 2010 ADM-03.

Also see CMS "Dear State Medicaid Director" letter dated Feb. 18, 2010 Benefit 2. MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B Generally one must enroll in Part B within the strict enrollment periods after turning age 65 or after 24 months of Social Security Disability.

An exception is if you or your spouse are still working and insured under an employer sponsored group health plan, or if you have End Stage Renal Disease, and other factors, see this from Medicare Rights Center. If you fail to enroll within those short periods, you might have to pay higher Part B premiums for life as a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP). Also, you may only enroll in Part B during the Annual Enrollment Period from January 1 - March 31st each year, with Part B not effective until the following July.

Enrollment in an MSP automatically eliminates such penalties... For life.. Even if one later ceases to be eligible for the MSP.

AND enrolling in an MSP will automatically result in becoming enrolled in Part B if you didn't already have it and only had Part A. See Medicare Rights Center flyer. Benefit 3.

No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover MSP Benefits Paid Generally speaking, states may place liens on the Estates of deceased Medicaid recipients to recover the cost of Medicaid services that were provided after the recipient reached the age of 55. Since 2002, states have not been allowed to recover the cost of Medicare premiums paid under MSPs. In 2010, Congress expanded protection for MSP benefits.

Beginning on January 1, 2010, states may not place liens on the Estates of Medicaid recipients who died after January 1, 2010 to recover costs for co-insurance paid under the QMB MSP program for services rendered after January 1, 2010. The federal government made this change in order to eliminate barriers to enrollment in MSPs. See NYS DOH GIS 10-MA-008 - Medicare Savings Program Changes in Estate Recovery The GIS clarifies that a client who receives both QMB and full Medicaid is exempt from estate recovery for these Medicare cost-sharing expenses.

Benefit 4. SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits not reduced despite increased income from MSP - at least temporarily Many people receive both SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits and MSP. Income for purposes of SNAP/Food Stamps is reduced by a deduction for medical expenses, which includes payment of the Part B premium.

Since approval for an MSP means that the client no longer pays for the Part B premium, his/her SNAP/Food Stamps income goes up, so their SNAP/Food Stamps go down. Here are some protections. Do these individuals have to report to their SNAP worker that their out of pocket medical costs have decreased?.

And will the household see a reduction in their SNAP benefits, since the decrease in medical expenses will increase their countable income?. The good news is that MSP households do NOT have to report the decrease in their medical expenses to the SNAP/Food Stamp office until their next SNAP/Food Stamp recertification. Even if they do report the change, or the local district finds out because the same worker is handling both the MSP and SNAP case, there should be no reduction in the household’s benefit until the next recertification.

New York’s SNAP policy per administrative directive 02 ADM-07 is to “freeze” the deduction for medical expenses between certification periods. Increases in medical expenses can be budgeted at the household’s request, but NYS never decreases a household’s medical expense deduction until the next recertification. Most elderly and disabled households have 24-month SNAP certification periods.

Eventually, though, the decrease in medical expenses will need to be reported when the household recertifies for SNAP, and the household should expect to see a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit. It is really important to stress that the loss in SNAP benefits is NOT dollar for dollar. A $100 decrease in out of pocket medical expenses would translate roughly into a $30 drop in SNAP benefits.

See more info on SNAP/Food Stamp benefits by the Empire Justice Center, and on the State OTDA website. Some clients will be automatically enrolled in an MSP by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) shortly after attaining eligibility for Medicare. Others need to apply.

The 2010 "MIPPA" law introduced some improvements to increase MSP enrollment. See 3rd bullet below. Also, some people who had Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare have special procedures to have their Part B premium paid before they enroll in an MSP.

See below. WHO IS AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN AN MSP. Clients receiving even $1.00 of Supplemental Security Income should be automatically enrolled into a Medicare Savings Program (most often QMB) under New York State’s Medicare Savings Program Buy-in Agreement with the federal government once they become eligible for Medicare.

They should receive Medicare Parts A and B. Clients who are already eligible for Medicare when they apply for Medicaid should be automatically assessed for MSP eligibility when they apply for Medicaid. (NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 and GIS 05 MA 033).

Clients who apply to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help, but are rejected, should be contacted &. Enrolled into an MSP by the Medicaid program directly under new MIPPA procedures that require data sharing. Strategy TIP.

Since the Extra Help filing date will be assigned to the MSP application, it may help the client to apply online for Extra Help with the SSA, even knowing that this application will be rejected because of excess assets or other reason. SSA processes these requests quickly, and it will be routed to the State for MSP processing. Since MSP applications take a while, at least the filing date will be retroactive.

Note. The above strategy does not work as well for QMB, because the effective date of QMB is the month after the month of application. As a result, the retroactive effective date of Extra Help will be the month after the failed Extra Help application for those with QMB rather than SLMB/QI-1.

Applying for MSP Directly with Local Medicaid Program. Those who do not have Medicaid already must apply for an MSP through their local social services district. (See more in Section D.

Below re those who already have Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare. If you are applying for MSP only (not also Medicaid), you can use the simplified MSP application form (theDOH-4328(Rev. 8/2017-- English) (2017 Spanish version not yet available).

Either application form can be mailed in -- there is no interview requirement anymore for MSP or Medicaid. See 10 ADM-04. Applicants will need to submit proof of income, a copy of their Medicare card (front &.

Back), and proof of residency/address. See the application form for other instructions. One who is only eligible for QI-1 because of higher income may ONLY apply for an MSP, not for Medicaid too.

One may not receive Medicaid and QI-1 at the same time. If someone only eligible for QI-1 wants Medicaid, s/he may enroll in and deposit excess income into a pooled Supplemental Needs Trust, to bring her countable income down to the Medicaid level, which also qualifies him or her for SLIMB or QMB instead of QI-1. Advocates in NYC can sign up for a half-day "Deputization Training" conducted by the Medicare Rights Center, at which you'll be trained and authorized to complete an MSP application and to submit it via the Medicare Rights Center, which submits it to HRA without the client having to apply in person.

Enrolling in an MSP if you already have Medicaid, but just become eligible for Medicare Those who, prior to becoming enrolled in Medicare, had Medicaid through Affordable Care Act are eligible to have their Part B premiums paid by Medicaid (or the cost reimbursed) during the time it takes for them to transition to a Medicare Savings Program. In 2018, DOH clarified that reimbursement of the Part B premium will be made regardless of whether the individual is still in a Medicaid managed care (MMC) plan. GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare ( PDF) provides, "Due to efforts to transition individuals who gain Medicare eligibility and who require LTSS, individuals may not be disenrolled from MMC upon receipt of Medicare.

To facilitate the transition and not disadvantage the recipient, the Medicaid program is approving reimbursement of Part B premiums for enrollees in MMC." The procedure for getting the Part B premium paid is different for those whose Medicaid was administered by the NYS of Health Exchange (Marketplace), as opposed to their local social services district. The procedure is also different for those who obtain Medicare because they turn 65, as opposed to obtaining Medicare based on disability. Either way, Medicaid recipients who transition onto Medicare should be automatically evaluated for MSP eligibility at their next Medicaid recertification.

NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 Individuals can also affirmatively ask to be enrolled in MSP in between recertification periods. IF CLIENT HAD MEDICAID ON THE MARKETPLACE (NYS of Health Exchange) before obtaining Medicare. IF they obtain Medicare because they turn age 65, they will receive a letter from their local district asking them to "renew" Medicaid through their local district.

See 2014 LCM-02. Now, their Medicaid income limit will be lower than the MAGI limits ($842/ mo reduced from $1387/month) and they now will have an asset test. For this reason, some individuals may lose full Medicaid eligibility when they begin receiving Medicare.

People over age 65 who obtain Medicare do NOT keep "Marketplace Medicaid" for 12 months (continuous eligibility) See GIS 15 MA/022 - Continuous Coverage for MAGI Individuals. Since MSP has NO ASSET limit. Some individuals may be enrolled in the MSP even if they lose Medicaid, or if they now have a Medicaid spend-down.

If a Medicare/Medicaid recipient reports income that exceeds the Medicaid level, districts must evaluate the person’s eligibility for MSP. 08 OHIP/ADM-4 ​If you became eligible for Medicare based on disability and you are UNDER AGE 65, you are entitled to keep MAGI Medicaid for 12 months from the month it was last authorized, even if you now have income normally above the MAGI limit, and even though you now have Medicare. This is called Continuous Eligibility.

EXAMPLE. Sam, age 60, was last authorized for Medicaid on the Marketplace in June 2016. He became enrolled in Medicare based on disability in August 2016, and started receiving Social Security in the same month (he won a hearing approving Social Security disability benefits retroactively, after first being denied disability).

Even though his Social Security is too high, he can keep Medicaid for 12 months beginning June 2016. Sam has to pay for his Part B premium - it is deducted from his Social Security check. He may call the Marketplace and request a refund.

This will continue until the end of his 12 months of continues MAGI Medicaid eligibility. He will be reimbursed regardless of whether he is in a Medicaid managed care plan. See GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare (PDF) When that ends, he will renew Medicaid and apply for MSP with his local district.

Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid with a spenddown can opt whether or not to receive MSP. (Medicaid Reference Guide (MRG) p. 19).

Obtaining MSP may increase their spenddown. MIPPA - Outreach by Social Security Administration -- Under MIPPA, the SSA sends a form letter to people who may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program or Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy - LIS) that they may apply. The letters are.

· Beneficiary has Extra Help (LIS), but not MSP · Beneficiary has no Extra Help (LIS) or MSP 6. Enrolling in MSP for People Age 65+ who do Not have Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" Seniors WITHOUT MEDICARE PART A or B -- They may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In program, in which people eligible for QMB who are age 65+ who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll in Part A, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium. See Step-by-Step Guide by the Medicare Rights Center).

This guide explains the various steps in "conditionally enrolling" in Part A at the SSA office, which must be done before applying for QMB at the Medicaid office, which will then pay the Part A premium. See also GIS 04 MA/013. In June, 2018, the SSA revised the POMS manual procedures for the Part A Buy-In to to address inconsistencies and confusion in SSA field offices and help smooth the path for QMB enrollment.

The procedures are in the POMS Section HI 00801.140 "Premium-Free Part A Enrollments for Qualified Medicare BenefiIaries." It includes important clarifications, such as. SSA Field Offices should explain the QMB program and conditional enrollment process if an individual lacks premium-free Part A and appears to meet QMB requirements. SSA field offices can add notes to the “Remarks” section of the application and provide a screen shot to the individual so the individual can provide proof of conditional Part A enrollment when applying for QMB through the state Medicaid program.

Beneficiaries are allowed to complete the conditional application even if they owe Medicare premiums. In Part A Buy-in states like NYS, SSA should process conditional applications on a rolling basis (without regard to enrollment periods), even if the application coincides with the General Enrollment Period. (The General Enrollment Period is from Jan 1 to March 31st every year, in which anyone eligible may enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B to be effective on July 1st).

7. What happens after the MSP approval - How is Part B premium paid For all three MSP programs, the Medicaid program is now responsible for paying the Part B premiums, even though the MSP enrollee is not necessarily a recipient of Medicaid. The local Medicaid office (DSS/HRA) transmits the MSP approval to the NYS Department of Health – that information gets shared w/ SSA and CMS SSA stops deducting the Part B premiums out of the beneficiary’s Social Security check.

SSA also refunds any amounts owed to the recipient. (Note. This process can take awhile!.

!. !. ) CMS “deems” the MSP recipient eligible for Part D Extra Help/ Low Income Subsidy (LIS).

​Can the MSP be retroactive like Medicaid, back to 3 months before the application?. ​The answer is different for the 3 MSP programs. QMB -No Retroactive Eligibility – Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application.

18 NYCRR § 360-7.8(b)(5) SLIMB - YES - Retroactive Eligibility up to 3 months before the application, if was eligible This means applicant may be reimbursed for the 3 months of Part B benefits prior to the month of application. QI-1 - YES up to 3 months but only in the same calendar year. No retroactive eligibility to the previous year.

7. QMBs -Special Rules on Cost-Sharing. QMB is the only MSP program which pays not only the Part B premium, but also the Medicare co-insurance.

However, there are limitations. First, co-insurance will only be paid if the provide accepts Medicaid. Not all Medicare provides accept Medicaid.

Second, under recent changes in New York law, Medicaid will not always pay the Medicare co-insurance, even to a Medicaid provider. But even if the provider does not accept Medicaid, or if Medicaid does not pay the full co-insurance, the provider is banned from "balance billing" the QMB beneficiary for the co-insurance. Click here for an article that explains all of these rules.

This article was authored by the Empire Justice Center.THE PROBLEM. Meet Joe, whose Doctor has Billed him for the Medicare Coinsurance Joe Client is disabled and has SSD, Medicaid and Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). His health care is covered by Medicare, and Medicaid and the QMB program pick up his Medicare cost-sharing obligations.

Under Medicare Part B, his co-insurance is 20% of the Medicare-approved charge for most outpatient services. He went to the doctor recently and, as with any other Medicare beneficiary, the doctor handed him a bill for his co-pay. Now Joe has a bill that he can’t pay.

Read below to find out -- SHORT ANSWER. QMB or Medicaid will pay the Medicare coinsurance only in limited situations. First, the provider must be a Medicaid provider.

Second, even if the provider accepts Medicaid, under recent legislation in New York enacted in 2015 and 2016, QMB or Medicaid may pay only part of the coinsurance, or none at all. This depends in part on whether the beneficiary has Original Medicare or is in a Medicare Advantage plan, and in part on the type of service. However, the bottom line is that the provider is barred from "balance billing" a QMB beneficiary for the Medicare coinsurance.

Unfortunately, this creates tension between an individual and her doctors, pharmacies dispensing Part B medications, and other providers. Providers may not know they are not allowed to bill a QMB beneficiary for Medicare coinsurance, since they bill other Medicare beneficiaries. Even those who know may pressure their patients to pay, or simply decline to serve them.

These rights and the ramifications of these QMB rules are explained in this article. CMS is doing more education about QMB Rights. The Medicare Handbook, since 2017, gives information about QMB Protections.

Download the 2020 Medicare Handbook here. See pp. 53, 86.

1. To Which Providers will QMB or Medicaid Pay the Medicare Co-Insurance?. "Providers must enroll as Medicaid providers in order to bill Medicaid for the Medicare coinsurance." CMS Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs).

The CMS bulletin states, "If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules." If the provider chooses not to enroll as a Medicaid provider, they still may not "balance bill" the QMB recipient for the coinsurance. 2. How Does a Provider that DOES accept Medicaid Bill for a QMB Beneficiary?.

If beneficiary has Original Medicare -- The provider bills Medicaid - even if the QMB Beneficiary does not also have Medicaid. Medicaid is required to pay the provider for all Medicare Part A and B cost-sharing charges, even if the service is normally not covered by Medicaid (ie, chiropractic, podiatry and clinical social work care). Whatever reimbursement Medicaid pays the provider constitutes by law payment in full, and the provider cannot bill the beneficiary for any difference remaining.

42 U.S.C. § 1396a(n)(3)(A), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 If the QMB beneficiary is in a Medicare Advantage plan - The provider bills the Medicare Advantage plan, then bills Medicaid for the balance using a “16” code to get paid. The provider must include the amount it received from Medicare Advantage plan.

3. For a Provider who accepts Medicaid, How Much of the Medicare Coinsurance will be Paid for a QMB or Medicaid Beneficiary in NYS?. The answer to this question has changed by laws enacted in 2015 and 2016.

In the proposed 2019 State Budget, Gov. Cuomo has proposed to reduce how much Medicaid pays for the Medicare costs even further. The amount Medicaid pays is different depending on whether the individual has Original Medicare or is a Medicare Advantage plan, with better payment for those in Medicare Advantage plans.

The answer also differs based on the type of service. Part A Deductibles and Coinsurance - Medicaid pays the full Part A hospital deductible ($1,408 in 2020) and Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance ($176/day) for days 20 - 100 of a rehab stay. Full payment is made for QMB beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients who have no spend-down.

Payments are reduced if the beneficiary has a Medicaid spend-down. For in-patient hospital deductible, Medicaid will pay only if six times the monthly spend-down has been met. For example, if Mary has a $200/month spend down which has not been met otherwise, Medicaid will pay only $164 of the hospital deductible (the amount exceeding 6 x $200).

See more on spend-down here. Medicare Part B - Deductible - Currently, Medicaid pays the full Medicare approved charges until the beneficiary has met the annual deductible, which is $198 in 2020. For example, Dr.

John charges $500 for a visit, for which the Medicare approved charge is $198. Medicaid pays the entire $198, meeting the deductible. If the beneficiary has a spend-down, then the Medicaid payment would be subject to the spend-down.

In the 2019 proposed state budget, Gov. Cuomo proposed to reduce the amount Medicaid pays toward the deductible to the same amount paid for coinsurance during the year, described below. This proposal was REJECTED by the state legislature.

Co-Insurance - The amount medicaid pays in NYS is different for Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If individual has Original Medicare, QMB/Medicaid will pay the 20% Part B coinsurance only to the extent the total combined payment the provider receives from Medicare and Medicaid is the lesser of the Medicaid or Medicare rate for the service. For example, if the Medicare rate for a service is $100, the coinsurance is $20.

If the Medicaid rate for the same service is only $80 or less, Medicaid would pay nothing, as it would consider the doctor fully paid = the provider has received the full Medicaid rate, which is lesser than the Medicare rate. Exceptions - Medicaid/QMB wil pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate. ambulance and psychologists - The Gov's 2019 proposal to eliminate these exceptions was rejected.

hospital outpatient clinic, certain facilities operating under certificates issued under the Mental Hygiene Law for people with developmental disabilities, psychiatric disability, and chemical dependence (Mental Hygiene Law Articles 16, 31 or 32). SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iii)-(v) , as amended 2015 If individual is in a Medicare Advantage plan, 85% of the copayment will be paid to the provider (must be a Medicaid provider), regardless of how low the Medicaid rate is.

This limit was enacted in the 2016 State Budget, and is better than what the Governor proposed - which was the same rule used in Original Medicare -- NONE of the copayment or coinsurance would be paid if the Medicaid rate was lower than the Medicare rate for the service, which is usually the case. This would have deterred doctors and other providers from being willing to treat them. SSL 367-a, subd.

1(d)(iv), added 2016. EXCEPTIONS. The Medicare Advantage plan must pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate.

ambulance ) psychologist ) The Gov's proposal in the 2019 budget to eliminate these exceptions was rejected by the legislature Example to illustrate the current rules. The Medicare rate for Mary's specialist visit is $185. The Medicaid rate for the same service is $120.

Current rules (since 2016). Medicare Advantage -- Medicare Advantage plan pays $135 and Mary is charged a copayment of $50 (amount varies by plan). Medicaid pays the specialist 85% of the $50 copayment, which is $42.50.

The doctor is prohibited by federal law from "balance billing" QMB beneficiaries for the balance of that copayment. Since provider is getting $177.50 of the $185 approved rate, provider will hopefully not be deterred from serving Mary or other QMBs/Medicaid recipients. Original Medicare - The 20% coinsurance is $37.

Medicaid pays none of the coinsurance because the Medicaid rate ($120) is lower than the amount the provider already received from Medicare ($148). For both Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, if the bill was for a ambulance or psychologist, Medicaid would pay the full 20% coinsurance regardless of the Medicaid rate. The proposal to eliminate this exception was rejected by the legislature in 2019 budget.

. 4. May the Provider 'Balance Bill" a QMB Benficiary for the Coinsurance if Provider Does Not Accept Medicaid, or if Neither the Patient or Medicaid/QMB pays any coinsurance?.

No. Balance billing is banned by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. 42 U.S.C.

§ 1396a(n)(3)(A). In an Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs)," the federal Medicare agency - CMS - clarified that providers MAY NOT BILL QMB recipients for the Medicare coinsurance. This is true whether or not the provider is registered as a Medicaid provider.

If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules. This is a change in policy in implementing Section 1902(n)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as modified by section 4714 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which prohibits Medicare providers from balance-billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing. The CMS letter states, "All Medicare physicians, providers, and suppliers who offer services and supplies to QMBs are prohibited from billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayments.

This section of the Act is available at. CMCS Informational Bulletin http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title19/1902.htm. QMBs have no legal obligation to make further payment to a provider or Medicare managed care plan for Part A or Part B cost sharing.

Providers who inappropriately bill QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing are subject to sanctions. Please note that the statute referenced above supersedes CMS State Medicaid Manual, Chapter 3, Eligibility, 3490.14 (b), which is no longer in effect, but may be causing confusion about QMB billing." The same information was sent to providers in this Medicare Learning Network bulletin, last revised in June 26, 2018. CMS reminded Medicare Advantage plans of the rule against Balance Billing in the 2017 Call Letter for plan renewals.

See this excerpt of the 2017 call letter by Justice in Aging - Prohibition on Billing Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees for Medicare Cost Sharing 5. How do QMB Beneficiaries Show a Provider that they have QMB and cannot be Billed for the Coinsurance?. It can be difficult to show a provider that one is a QMB.

It is especially difficult for providers who are not Medicaid providers to identify QMB's, since they do not have access to online Medicaid eligibility systems Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to verify their QMB Status and report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer. See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec.

16, 2016. Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) that Medicare beneficiaries receive every three months state that QMBs have no financial liability for co-insurance for each Medicare-covered service listed on the MSN. The Remittance Advice (RA) that Medicare sends to providers shows the same information.

By spelling out billing protections on a service-by-service basis, the MSNs provide clarity for both the QMB beneficiary and the provider. Justice in Aging has posted samples of what the new MSNs look like here. They have also updated Justice in Aging’s Improper Billing Toolkit to incorporate references to the MSNs in its model letters that you can use to advocate for clients who have been improperly billed for Medicare-covered services.

CMS is implementing systems changes that will notify providers when they process a Medicare claim that the patient is QMB and has no cost-sharing liability. The Medicare Summary Notice sent to the beneficiary will also state that the beneficiary has QMB and no liability. These changes were scheduled to go into effect in October 2017, but have been delayed.

Read more about them in this Justice in Aging Issue Brief on New Strategies in Fighting Improper Billing for QMBs (Feb. 2017). QMBs are issued a Medicaid benefit card (by mail), even if they do not also receive Medicaid.

The card is the mechanism for health care providers to bill the QMB program for the Medicare deductibles and co-pays. Unfortunately, the Medicaid card dos not indicate QMB eligibility. Not all people who have Medicaid also have QMB (they may have higher incomes and "spend down" to the Medicaid limits.

Advocates have asked for a special QMB card, or a notation on the Medicaid card to show that the individual has QMB. See this Report - a National Survey on QMB Identification Practices published by Justice in Aging, authored by Peter Travitsky, NYLAG EFLRP staff attorney. The Report, published in March 2017, documents how QMB beneficiaries could be better identified in order to ensure providers do not bill them improperly.

6. If you are Billed -​ Strategies Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer.

See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016. Send a letter to the provider, using the Justice In Aging Model model letters to providers to explain QMB rights.​​​ both for Original Medicare (Letters 1-2) and Medicare Advantage (Letters 3-5) - see Overview of model letters.

Include a link to the CMS Medicare Learning Network Notice. Prohibition on Balance Billing Dually Eligible Individuals Enrolled in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program (revised June 26. 2018) In January 2017, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau issued this guide to QMB billing.

A consumer who has a problem with debt collection, may also submit a complaint online or call the CFPB at 1-855-411-2372.

N.Y can u buy sustiva over the counter. Soc. Serv. L.

§ 367-a(3)(a), (b), and (d). 2020 Medicare 101 Basics for New York State - 1.5 hour webinar by Eric Hausman, sponsored by NYS Office of the Aging TOPICS COVERED IN THIS ARTICLE 1. No Asset Limit 1A. Summary Chart of MSP Programs 2.

Income Limits &. Rules and Household Size 3. The Three MSP Programs - What are they and how are they Different?. 4.

FOUR Special Benefits of MSP Programs. Back Door to Extra Help with Part D MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B - and allow enrollment in Part B year-round outside of the short Annual Enrollment Period No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover Payment of Expenses Paid by MSP Food Stamps/SNAP not reduced by Decreased Medical Expenses when Enroll in MSP - at least temporarily 5. Enrolling in an MSP - Automatic Enrollment &. Applications for People who Have Medicare What is Application Process?.

6. Enrolling in an MSP for People age 65+ who Do Not Qualify for Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" 7. What Happens After MSP Approved - How Part B Premium is Paid 8 Special Rules for QMBs - How Medicare Cost-Sharing Works 1. NO ASSET LIMIT!.

Since April 1, 2008, none of the three MSP programs have resource limits in New York -- which means many Medicare beneficiaries who might not qualify for Medicaid because of excess resources can qualify for an MSP. 1.A. SUMMARY CHART OF MSP BENEFITS QMB SLIMB QI-1 Eligibility ASSET LIMIT NO LIMIT IN NEW YORK STATE INCOME LIMIT (2020) Single Couple Single Couple Single Couple $1,064 $1,437 $1,276 $1,724 $1,436 $1,940 Federal Poverty Level 100% FPL 100 – 120% FPL 120 – 135% FPL Benefits Pays Monthly Part B premium?. YES, and also Part A premium if did not have enough work quarters and meets citizenship requirement.

See “Part A Buy-In” YES YES Pays Part A &. B deductibles &. Co-insurance YES - with limitations NO NO Retroactive to Filing of Application?. Yes - Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application.

18 NYCRR §360-7.8(b)(5) Yes – Retroactive to 3rd month before month of application, if eligible in prior months Yes – may be retroactive to 3rd month before month of applica-tion, but only within the current calendar year. (No retro for January application). See GIS 07 MA 027. Can Enroll in MSP and Medicaid at Same Time?.

YES YES NO!. Must choose between QI-1 and Medicaid. Cannot have both, not even Medicaid with a spend-down. 2.

INCOME LIMITS and RULES Each of the three MSP programs has different income eligibility requirements and provides different benefits. The income limits are tied to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). 2019 FPL levels were released by NYS DOH in GIS 20 MA/02 - 2020 Federal Poverty Levels -- Attachment II and have been posted by Medicaid.gov and the National Council on Aging and are in the chart below. NOTE.

There is usually a lag in time of several weeks, or even months, from January 1st of each year until the new FPLs are release, and then before the new MSP income limits are officially implemented. During this lag period, local Medicaid offices should continue to use the previous year's FPLs AND count the person's Social Security benefit amount from the previous year - do NOT factor in the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment). Once the updated guidelines are released, districts will use the new FPLs and go ahead and factor in any COLA. See 2019 Fact Sheet on MSP in NYS by Medicare Rights Center ENGLISH SPANISH Income is determined by the same methodology as is used for determining in eligibility for SSI The rules for counting income for SSI-related (Aged 65+, Blind, or Disabled) Medicaid recipients, borrowed from the SSI program, apply to the MSP program, except for the new rules about counting household size for married couples.

367-a(3)(c)(2), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7, 89-ADM-7 p.7. Gross income is counted, although there are certain types of income that are disregarded. The most common income disregards, also known as deductions, include. (a) The first $20 of your &.

Your spouse's monthly income, earned or unearned ($20 per couple max). (b) SSI EARNED INCOME DISREGARDS. * The first $65 of monthly wages of you and your spouse, * One-half of the remaining monthly wages (after the $65 is deducted). * Other work incentives including PASS plans, impairment related work expenses (IRWEs), blind work expenses, etc.

For information on these deductions, see The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) and other guides in this article -- though written for the MBI-WPD, the work incentives apply to all Medicaid programs, including MSP, for people age 65+, disabled or blind. (c) monthly cost of any health insurance premiums but NOT the Part B premium, since Medicaid will now pay this premium (may deduct Medigap supplemental policies, vision, dental, or long term care insurance premiums, and the Part D premium but only to the extent the premium exceeds the Extra Help benchmark amount) (d) Food stamps not counted. You can get a more comprehensive listing of the SSI-related income disregards on the Medicaid income disregards chart. As for all benefit programs based on financial need, it is usually advantageous to be considered a larger household, because the income limit is higher.

The above chart shows that Households of TWO have a higher income limit than households of ONE. The MSP programs use the same rules as Medicaid does for the Disabled, Aged and Blind (DAB) which are borrowed from the SSI program for Medicaid recipients in the “SSI-related category.” Under these rules, a household can be only ONE or TWO. 18 NYCRR 360-4.2. See DAB Household Size Chart.

Married persons can sometimes be ONE or TWO depending on arcane rules, which can force a Medicare beneficiary to be limited to the income limit for ONE person even though his spouse who is under 65 and not disabled has no income, and is supported by the client applying for an MSP. EXAMPLE. Bob's Social Security is $1300/month. He is age 67 and has Medicare.

His wife, Nancy, is age 62 and is not disabled and does not work. Under the old rule, Bob was not eligible for an MSP because his income was above the Income limit for One, even though it was well under the Couple limit. In 2010, NYS DOH modified its rules so that all married individuals will be considered a household size of TWO. DOH GIS 10 MA 10 Medicare Savings Program Household Size, June 4, 2010.

This rule for household size is an exception to the rule applying SSI budgeting rules to the MSP program. Under these rules, Bob is now eligible for an MSP. When is One Better than Two?. Of course, there may be couples where the non-applying spouse's income is too high, and disqualifies the applying spouse from an MSP.

In such cases, "spousal refusal" may be used SSL 366.3(a). (Link is to NYC HRA form, can be adapted for other counties). 3. The Three Medicare Savings Programs - what are they and how are they different?.

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). The QMB program provides the most comprehensive benefits. Available to those with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the QMB program covers virtually all Medicare cost-sharing obligations.

Part B premiums, Part A premiums, if there are any, and any and all deductibles and co-insurance. QMB coverage is not retroactive. The program’s benefits will begin the month after the month in which your client is found eligible. ** See special rules about cost-sharing for QMBs below - updated with new CMS directive issued January 2012 ** See NYC HRA QMB Recertification form ** Even if you do not have Part A automatically, because you did not have enough wages, you may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In Program, in which people eligible for QMB who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium (Materials by the Medicare Rights Center).

2. Specifiedl Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). For those with incomes between 100% and 120% FPL, the SLMB program will cover Part B premiums only. SLMB is retroactive, however, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months.

3. Qualified Individual (QI-1). For those with incomes between 120% and 135% FPL, and not receiving Medicaid, the QI-1 program will cover Medicare Part B premiums only. QI-1 is also retroactive, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months.

However, QI-1 retroactive coverage can only be provided within the current calendar year. (GIS 07 MA 027) So if you apply in January, you get no retroactive coverage. Q-I-1 recipients would be eligible for Medicaid with a spend-down, but if they want the Part B premium paid, they must choose between enrolling in QI-1 or Medicaid. They cannot be in both.

It is their choice. DOH MRG p. 19. In contrast, one may receive Medicaid and either QMB or SLIMB.

4. Four Special Benefits of MSPs (in addition to NO ASSET TEST). Benefit 1. Back Door to Medicare Part D "Extra Help" or Low Income Subsidy -- All MSP recipients are automatically enrolled in Extra Help, the subsidy that makes Part D affordable.

They have no Part D deductible or doughnut hole, the premium is subsidized, and they pay very low copayments. Once they are enrolled in Extra Help by virtue of enrollment in an MSP, they retain Extra Help for the entire calendar year, even if they lose MSP eligibility during that year. The "Full" Extra Help subsidy has the same income limit as QI-1 - 135% FPL. However, many people may be eligible for QI-1 but not Extra Help because QI-1 and the other MSPs have no asset limit.

People applying to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help might be rejected for this reason. Recent (2009-10) changes to federal law called "MIPPA" requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to share eligibility data with NYSDOH on all persons who apply for Extra Help/ the Low Income Subsidy. Data sent to NYSDOH from SSA will enable NYSDOH to open MSP cases on many clients. The effective date of the MSP application must be the same date as the Extra Help application.

Signatures will not be required from clients. In cases where the SSA data is incomplete, NYSDOH will forward what is collected to the local district for completion of an MSP application. The State implementing procedures are in DOH 2010 ADM-03. Also see CMS "Dear State Medicaid Director" letter dated Feb.

18, 2010 Benefit 2. MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B Generally one must enroll in Part B within the strict enrollment periods after turning age 65 or after 24 months of Social Security Disability. An exception is if you or your spouse are still working and insured under an employer sponsored group health plan, or if you have End Stage Renal Disease, and other factors, see this from Medicare Rights Center. If you fail to enroll within those short periods, you might have to pay higher Part B premiums for life as a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP).

Also, you may only enroll in Part B during the Annual Enrollment Period from January 1 - March 31st each year, with Part B not effective until the following July. Enrollment in an MSP automatically eliminates such penalties... For life.. Even if one later ceases to be eligible for the MSP.

AND enrolling in an MSP will automatically result in becoming enrolled in Part B if you didn't already have it and only had Part A. See Medicare Rights Center flyer. Benefit 3. No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover MSP Benefits Paid Generally speaking, states may place liens on the Estates of deceased Medicaid recipients to recover the cost of Medicaid services that were provided after the recipient reached the age of 55.

Since 2002, states have not been allowed to recover the cost of Medicare premiums paid under MSPs. In 2010, Congress expanded protection for MSP benefits. Beginning on January 1, 2010, states may not place liens on the Estates of Medicaid recipients who died after January 1, 2010 to recover costs for co-insurance paid under the QMB MSP program for services rendered after January 1, 2010. The federal government made this change in order to eliminate barriers to enrollment in MSPs.

See NYS DOH GIS 10-MA-008 - Medicare Savings Program Changes in Estate Recovery The GIS clarifies that a client who receives both QMB and full Medicaid is exempt from estate recovery for these Medicare cost-sharing expenses. Benefit 4. SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits not reduced despite increased income from MSP - at least temporarily Many people receive both SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits and MSP. Income for purposes of SNAP/Food Stamps is reduced by a deduction for medical expenses, which includes payment of the Part B premium.

Since approval for an MSP means that the client no longer pays for the Part B premium, his/her SNAP/Food Stamps income goes up, so their SNAP/Food Stamps go down. Here are some protections. Do these individuals have to report to their SNAP worker that their out of pocket medical costs have decreased?. And will the household see a reduction in their SNAP benefits, since the decrease in medical expenses will increase their countable income?.

The good news is that MSP households do NOT have to report the decrease in their medical expenses to the SNAP/Food Stamp office until their next SNAP/Food Stamp recertification. Even if they do report the change, or the local district finds out because the same worker is handling both the MSP and SNAP case, there should be no reduction in the household’s benefit until the next recertification. New York’s SNAP policy per administrative directive 02 ADM-07 is to “freeze” the deduction for medical expenses between certification periods. Increases in medical expenses can be budgeted at the household’s request, but NYS never decreases a household’s medical expense deduction until the next recertification.

Most elderly and disabled households have 24-month SNAP certification periods. Eventually, though, the decrease in medical expenses will need to be reported when the household recertifies for SNAP, and the household should expect to see a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit. It is really important to stress that the loss in SNAP benefits is NOT dollar for dollar. A $100 decrease in out of pocket medical expenses would translate roughly into a $30 drop in SNAP benefits.

See more info on SNAP/Food Stamp benefits by the Empire Justice Center, and on the State OTDA website. Some clients will be automatically enrolled in an MSP by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) shortly after attaining eligibility for Medicare. Others need to apply. The 2010 "MIPPA" law introduced some improvements to increase MSP enrollment.

See 3rd bullet below. Also, some people who had Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare have special procedures to have their Part B premium paid before they enroll in an MSP. See below. WHO IS AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN AN MSP.

Clients receiving even $1.00 of Supplemental Security Income should be automatically enrolled into a Medicare Savings Program (most often QMB) under New York State’s Medicare Savings Program Buy-in Agreement with the federal government once they become eligible for Medicare. They should receive Medicare Parts A and B. Clients who are already eligible for Medicare when they apply for Medicaid should be automatically assessed for MSP eligibility when they apply for Medicaid. (NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 and GIS 05 MA 033).

Clients who apply to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help, but are rejected, should be contacted &. Enrolled into an MSP by the Medicaid program directly under new MIPPA procedures that require data sharing. Strategy TIP. Since the Extra Help filing date will be assigned to the MSP application, it may help the client to apply online for Extra Help with the SSA, even knowing that this application will be rejected because of excess assets or other reason.

SSA processes these requests quickly, and it will be routed to the State for MSP processing. Since MSP applications take a while, at least the filing date will be retroactive. Note. The above strategy does not work as well for QMB, because the effective date of QMB is the month after the month of application.

As a result, the retroactive effective date of Extra Help will be the month after the failed Extra Help application for those with QMB rather than SLMB/QI-1. Applying for MSP Directly with Local Medicaid Program. Those who do not have Medicaid already must apply for an MSP through their local social services district. (See more in Section D.

Below re those who already have Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare. If you are applying for MSP only (not also Medicaid), you can use the simplified MSP application form (theDOH-4328(Rev. 8/2017-- English) (2017 Spanish version not yet available). Either application form can be mailed in -- there is no interview requirement anymore for MSP or Medicaid.

See 10 ADM-04. Applicants will need to submit proof of income, a copy of their Medicare card (front &. Back), and proof of residency/address. See the application form for other instructions.

One who is only eligible for QI-1 because of higher income may ONLY apply for an MSP, not for Medicaid too. One may not receive Medicaid and QI-1 at the same time. If someone only eligible for QI-1 wants Medicaid, s/he may enroll in and deposit excess income into a pooled Supplemental Needs Trust, to bring her countable income down to the Medicaid level, which also qualifies him or her for SLIMB or QMB instead of QI-1. Advocates in NYC can sign up for a half-day "Deputization Training" conducted by the Medicare Rights Center, at which you'll be trained and authorized to complete an MSP application and to submit it via the Medicare Rights Center, which submits it to HRA without the client having to apply in person.

Enrolling in an MSP if you already have Medicaid, but just become eligible for Medicare Those who, prior to becoming enrolled in Medicare, had Medicaid through Affordable Care Act are eligible to have their Part B premiums paid by Medicaid (or the cost reimbursed) during the time it takes for them to transition to a Medicare Savings Program. In 2018, DOH clarified that reimbursement of the Part B premium will be made regardless of whether the individual is still in a Medicaid managed care (MMC) plan. GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare ( PDF) provides, "Due to efforts to transition individuals who gain Medicare eligibility and who require LTSS, individuals may not be disenrolled from MMC upon receipt of Medicare. To facilitate the transition and not disadvantage the recipient, the Medicaid program is approving reimbursement of Part B premiums for enrollees in MMC." The procedure for getting the Part B premium paid is different for those whose Medicaid was administered by the NYS of Health Exchange (Marketplace), as opposed to their local social services district.

The procedure is also different for those who obtain Medicare because they turn 65, as opposed to obtaining Medicare based on disability. Either way, Medicaid recipients who transition onto Medicare should be automatically evaluated for MSP eligibility at their next Medicaid recertification. NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 Individuals can also affirmatively ask to be enrolled in MSP in between recertification periods. IF CLIENT HAD MEDICAID ON THE MARKETPLACE (NYS of Health Exchange) before obtaining Medicare.

IF they obtain Medicare because they turn age 65, they will receive a letter from their local district asking them to "renew" Medicaid through their local district. See 2014 LCM-02. Now, their Medicaid income limit will be lower than the MAGI limits ($842/ mo reduced from $1387/month) and they now will have an asset test. For this reason, some individuals may lose full Medicaid eligibility when they begin receiving Medicare.

People over age 65 who obtain Medicare do NOT keep "Marketplace Medicaid" for 12 months (continuous eligibility) See GIS 15 MA/022 - Continuous Coverage for MAGI Individuals. Since MSP has NO ASSET limit. Some individuals may be enrolled in the MSP even if they lose Medicaid, or if they now have a Medicaid spend-down. If a Medicare/Medicaid recipient reports income that exceeds the Medicaid level, districts must evaluate the person’s eligibility for MSP.

08 OHIP/ADM-4 ​If you became eligible for Medicare based on disability and you are UNDER AGE 65, you are entitled to keep MAGI Medicaid for 12 months from the month it was last authorized, even if you now have income normally above the MAGI limit, and even though you now have Medicare. This is called Continuous Eligibility. EXAMPLE. Sam, age 60, was last authorized for Medicaid on the Marketplace in June 2016.

He became enrolled in Medicare based on disability in August 2016, and started receiving Social Security in the same month (he won a hearing approving Social Security disability benefits retroactively, after first being denied disability). Even though his Social Security is too high, he can keep Medicaid for 12 months beginning June 2016. Sam has to pay for his Part B premium - it is deducted from his Social Security check. He may call the Marketplace and request a refund.

This will continue until the end of his 12 months of continues MAGI Medicaid eligibility. He will be reimbursed regardless of whether he is in a Medicaid managed care plan. See GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare (PDF) When that ends, he will renew Medicaid and apply for MSP with his local district. Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid with a spenddown can opt whether or not to receive MSP.

(Medicaid Reference Guide (MRG) p. 19). Obtaining MSP may increase their spenddown. MIPPA - Outreach by Social Security Administration -- Under MIPPA, the SSA sends a form letter to people who may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program or Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy - LIS) that they may apply.

The letters are. · Beneficiary has Extra Help (LIS), but not MSP · Beneficiary has no Extra Help (LIS) or MSP 6. Enrolling in MSP for People Age 65+ who do Not have Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" Seniors WITHOUT MEDICARE PART A or B -- They may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In program, in which people eligible for QMB who are age 65+ who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll in Part A, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium. See Step-by-Step Guide by the Medicare Rights Center).

This guide explains the various steps in "conditionally enrolling" in Part A at the SSA office, which must be done before applying for QMB at the Medicaid office, which will then pay the Part A premium. See also GIS 04 MA/013. In June, 2018, the SSA revised the POMS manual procedures for the Part A Buy-In to to address inconsistencies and confusion in SSA field offices and help smooth the path for QMB enrollment. The procedures are in the POMS Section HI 00801.140 "Premium-Free Part A Enrollments for Qualified Medicare BenefiIaries." It includes important clarifications, such as.

SSA Field Offices should explain the QMB program and conditional enrollment process if an individual lacks premium-free Part A and appears to meet QMB requirements. SSA field offices can add notes to the “Remarks” section of the application and provide a screen shot to the individual so the individual can provide proof of conditional Part A enrollment when applying for QMB through the state Medicaid program. Beneficiaries are allowed to complete the conditional application even if they owe Medicare premiums. In Part A Buy-in states like NYS, SSA should process conditional applications on a rolling basis (without regard to enrollment periods), even if the application coincides with the General Enrollment Period.

(The General Enrollment Period is from Jan 1 to March 31st every year, in which anyone eligible may enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B to be effective on July 1st). 7. What happens after the MSP approval - How is Part B premium paid For all three MSP programs, the Medicaid program is now responsible for paying the Part B premiums, even though the MSP enrollee is not necessarily a recipient of Medicaid. The local Medicaid office (DSS/HRA) transmits the MSP approval to the NYS Department of Health – that information gets shared w/ SSA and CMS SSA stops deducting the Part B premiums out of the beneficiary’s Social Security check.

SSA also refunds any amounts owed to the recipient. (Note. This process can take awhile!. !.

!. ) CMS “deems” the MSP recipient eligible for Part D Extra Help/ Low Income Subsidy (LIS). ​Can the MSP be retroactive like Medicaid, back to 3 months before the application?. ​The answer is different for the 3 MSP programs.

QMB -No Retroactive Eligibility – Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application. 18 NYCRR § 360-7.8(b)(5) SLIMB - YES - Retroactive Eligibility up to 3 months before the application, if was eligible This means applicant may be reimbursed for the 3 months of Part B benefits prior to the month of application. QI-1 - YES up to 3 months but only in the same calendar year. No retroactive eligibility to the previous year.

7. QMBs -Special Rules on Cost-Sharing. QMB is the only MSP program which pays not only the Part B premium, but also the Medicare co-insurance. However, there are limitations.

First, co-insurance will only be paid if the provide accepts Medicaid. Not all Medicare provides accept Medicaid. Second, under recent changes in New York law, Medicaid will not always pay the Medicare co-insurance, even to a Medicaid provider. But even if the provider does not accept Medicaid, or if Medicaid does not pay the full co-insurance, the provider is banned from "balance billing" the QMB beneficiary for the co-insurance.

Click here for an article that explains all of these rules. This article was authored by the Empire Justice Center.THE PROBLEM. Meet Joe, whose Doctor has Billed him for the Medicare Coinsurance Joe Client is disabled and has SSD, Medicaid and Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). His health care is covered by Medicare, and Medicaid and the QMB program pick up his Medicare cost-sharing obligations.

Under Medicare Part B, his co-insurance is 20% of the Medicare-approved charge for most outpatient services. He went to the doctor recently and, as with any other Medicare beneficiary, the doctor handed him a bill for his co-pay. Now Joe has a bill that he can’t pay. Read below to find out -- SHORT ANSWER.

QMB or Medicaid will pay the Medicare coinsurance only in limited situations. First, the provider must be a Medicaid provider. Second, even if the provider accepts Medicaid, under recent legislation in New York enacted in 2015 and 2016, QMB or Medicaid may pay only part of the coinsurance, or none at all. This depends in part on whether the beneficiary has Original Medicare or is in a Medicare Advantage plan, and in part on the type of service.

However, the bottom line is that the provider is barred from "balance billing" a QMB beneficiary for the Medicare coinsurance. Unfortunately, this creates tension between an individual and her doctors, pharmacies dispensing Part B medications, and other providers. Providers may not know they are not allowed to bill a QMB beneficiary for Medicare coinsurance, since they bill other Medicare beneficiaries. Even those who know may pressure their patients to pay, or simply decline to serve them.

These rights and the ramifications of these QMB rules are explained in this article. CMS is doing more education about QMB Rights. The Medicare Handbook, since 2017, gives information about QMB Protections. Download the 2020 Medicare Handbook here.

See pp. 53, 86. 1. To Which Providers will QMB or Medicaid Pay the Medicare Co-Insurance?.

"Providers must enroll as Medicaid providers in order to bill Medicaid for the Medicare coinsurance." CMS Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs). The CMS bulletin states, "If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules." If the provider chooses not to enroll as a Medicaid provider, they still may not "balance bill" the QMB recipient for the coinsurance. 2. How Does a Provider that DOES accept Medicaid Bill for a QMB Beneficiary?.

If beneficiary has Original Medicare -- The provider bills Medicaid - even if the QMB Beneficiary does not also have Medicaid. Medicaid is required to pay the provider for all Medicare Part A and B cost-sharing charges, even if the service is normally not covered by Medicaid (ie, chiropractic, podiatry and clinical social work care). Whatever reimbursement Medicaid pays the provider constitutes by law payment in full, and the provider cannot bill the beneficiary for any difference remaining. 42 U.S.C.

§ 1396a(n)(3)(A), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 If the QMB beneficiary is in a Medicare Advantage plan - The provider bills the Medicare Advantage plan, then bills Medicaid for the balance using a “16” code to get paid. The provider must include the amount it received from Medicare Advantage plan. 3. For a Provider who accepts Medicaid, How Much of the Medicare Coinsurance will be Paid for a QMB or Medicaid Beneficiary in NYS?.

The answer to this question has changed by laws enacted in 2015 and 2016. In the proposed 2019 State Budget, Gov. Cuomo has proposed to reduce how much Medicaid pays for the Medicare costs even further. The amount Medicaid pays is different depending on whether the individual has Original Medicare or is a Medicare Advantage plan, with better payment for those in Medicare Advantage plans.

The answer also differs based on the type of service. Part A Deductibles and Coinsurance - Medicaid pays the full Part A hospital deductible ($1,408 in 2020) and Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance ($176/day) for days 20 - 100 of a rehab stay. Full payment is made for QMB beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients who have no spend-down. Payments are reduced if the beneficiary has a Medicaid spend-down.

For in-patient hospital deductible, Medicaid will pay only if six times the monthly spend-down has been met. For example, if Mary has a $200/month spend down which has not been met otherwise, Medicaid will pay only $164 of the hospital deductible (the amount exceeding 6 x $200). See more on spend-down here. Medicare Part B - Deductible - Currently, Medicaid pays the full Medicare approved charges until the beneficiary has met the annual deductible, which is $198 in 2020.

For example, Dr. John charges $500 for a visit, for which the Medicare approved charge is $198. Medicaid pays the entire $198, meeting the deductible. If the beneficiary has a spend-down, then the Medicaid payment would be subject to the spend-down.

In the 2019 proposed state budget, Gov. Cuomo proposed to reduce the amount Medicaid pays toward the deductible to the same amount paid for coinsurance during the year, described below. This proposal was REJECTED by the state legislature. Co-Insurance - The amount medicaid pays in NYS is different for Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

If individual has Original Medicare, QMB/Medicaid will pay the 20% Part B coinsurance only to the extent the total combined payment the provider receives from Medicare and Medicaid is the lesser of the Medicaid or Medicare rate for the service. For example, if the Medicare rate for a service is $100, the coinsurance is $20. If the Medicaid rate for the same service is only $80 or less, Medicaid would pay nothing, as it would consider the doctor fully paid = the provider has received the full Medicaid rate, which is lesser than the Medicare rate. Exceptions - Medicaid/QMB wil pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate.

ambulance and psychologists - The Gov's 2019 proposal to eliminate these exceptions was rejected. hospital outpatient clinic, certain facilities operating under certificates issued under the Mental Hygiene Law for people with developmental disabilities, psychiatric disability, and chemical dependence (Mental Hygiene Law Articles 16, 31 or 32). SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iii)-(v) , as amended 2015 If individual is in a Medicare Advantage plan, 85% of the copayment will be paid to the provider (must be a Medicaid provider), regardless of how low the Medicaid rate is.

This limit was enacted in the 2016 State Budget, and is better than what the Governor proposed - which was the same rule used in Original Medicare -- NONE of the copayment or coinsurance would be paid if the Medicaid rate was lower than the Medicare rate for the service, which is usually the case. This would have deterred doctors and other providers from being willing to treat them. SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iv), added 2016.

EXCEPTIONS. The Medicare Advantage plan must pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate. ambulance ) psychologist ) The Gov's proposal in the 2019 budget to eliminate these exceptions was rejected by the legislature Example to illustrate the current rules. The Medicare rate for Mary's specialist visit is $185.

The Medicaid rate for the same service is $120. Current rules (since 2016). Medicare Advantage -- Medicare Advantage plan pays $135 and Mary is charged a copayment of $50 (amount varies by plan). Medicaid pays the specialist 85% of the $50 copayment, which is $42.50.

The doctor is prohibited by federal law from "balance billing" QMB beneficiaries for the balance of that copayment. Since provider is getting $177.50 of the $185 approved rate, provider will hopefully not be deterred from serving Mary or other QMBs/Medicaid recipients. Original Medicare - The 20% coinsurance is $37. Medicaid pays none of the coinsurance because the Medicaid rate ($120) is lower than the amount the provider already received from Medicare ($148).

For both Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, if the bill was for a ambulance or psychologist, Medicaid would pay the full 20% coinsurance regardless of the Medicaid rate. The proposal to eliminate this exception was rejected by the legislature in 2019 budget. . 4.

May the Provider 'Balance Bill" a QMB Benficiary for the Coinsurance if Provider Does Not Accept Medicaid, or if Neither the Patient or Medicaid/QMB pays any coinsurance?. No. Balance billing is banned by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. 42 U.S.C.

§ 1396a(n)(3)(A). In an Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs)," the federal Medicare agency - CMS - clarified that providers MAY NOT BILL QMB recipients for the Medicare coinsurance. This is true whether or not the provider is registered as a Medicaid provider. If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules.

This is a change in policy in implementing Section 1902(n)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as modified by section 4714 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which prohibits Medicare providers from balance-billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing. The CMS letter states, "All Medicare physicians, providers, and suppliers who offer services and supplies to QMBs are prohibited from billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayments. This section of the Act is available at. CMCS Informational Bulletin http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title19/1902.htm.

QMBs have no legal obligation to make further payment to a provider or Medicare managed care plan for Part A or Part B cost sharing. Providers who inappropriately bill QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing are subject to sanctions. Please note that the statute referenced above supersedes CMS State Medicaid Manual, Chapter 3, Eligibility, 3490.14 (b), which is no longer in effect, but may be causing confusion about QMB billing." The same information was sent to providers in this Medicare Learning Network bulletin, last revised in June 26, 2018. CMS reminded Medicare Advantage plans of the rule against Balance Billing in the 2017 Call Letter for plan renewals.

See this excerpt of the 2017 call letter by Justice in Aging - Prohibition on Billing Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees for Medicare Cost Sharing 5. How do QMB Beneficiaries Show a Provider that they have QMB and cannot be Billed for the Coinsurance?. It can be difficult to show a provider that one is a QMB. It is especially difficult for providers who are not Medicaid providers to identify QMB's, since they do not have access to online Medicaid eligibility systems Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to verify their QMB Status and report a billing issue.

If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer. See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016. Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) that Medicare beneficiaries receive every three months state that QMBs have no financial liability for co-insurance for each Medicare-covered service listed on the MSN.

The Remittance Advice (RA) that Medicare sends to providers shows the same information. By spelling out billing protections on a service-by-service basis, the MSNs provide clarity for both the QMB beneficiary and the provider. Justice in Aging has posted samples of what the new MSNs look like here. They have also updated Justice in Aging’s Improper Billing Toolkit to incorporate references to the MSNs in its model letters that you can use to advocate for clients who have been improperly billed for Medicare-covered services.

CMS is implementing systems changes that will notify providers when they process a Medicare claim that the patient is QMB and has no cost-sharing liability. The Medicare Summary Notice sent to the beneficiary will also state that the beneficiary has QMB and no liability. These changes were scheduled to go into effect in October 2017, but have been delayed. Read more about them in this Justice in Aging Issue Brief on New Strategies in Fighting Improper Billing for QMBs (Feb.

2017). QMBs are issued a Medicaid benefit card (by mail), even if they do not also receive Medicaid. The card is the mechanism for health care providers to bill the QMB program for the Medicare deductibles and co-pays. Unfortunately, the Medicaid card dos not indicate QMB eligibility.

Not all people who have Medicaid also have QMB (they may have higher incomes and "spend down" to the Medicaid limits. Advocates have asked for a special QMB card, or a notation on the Medicaid card to show that the individual has QMB. See this Report - a National Survey on QMB Identification Practices published by Justice in Aging, authored by Peter Travitsky, NYLAG EFLRP staff attorney. The Report, published in March 2017, documents how QMB beneficiaries could be better identified in order to ensure providers do not bill them improperly.

6. If you are Billed -​ Strategies Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer. See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec.

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Start Preamble can u buy sustiva over the counter Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Extension of timeline for publication of final rule. This notice announces an can u buy sustiva over the counter extension of the timeline for publication of a Medicare final rule in accordance with the Social Security Act, which allows us to extend the timeline for publication of the final rule.

As of August 26, 2020, the timeline for publication of the final rule to finalize the provisions of the October 17, 2019 proposed rule (84 FR 55766) is extended until August 31, 2021. Start Further Info Lisa O. Wilson, (410) can u buy sustiva over the counter 786-8852. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information In the October 17, 2019 Federal Register (84 FR 55766), we published a proposed rule that addressed undue regulatory impact and burden of the physician self-referral law.

The proposed rule was issued in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services' can u buy sustiva over the counter (CMS) Patients over Paperwork initiative and the Department of Health and Human Services' (the Department or HHS) Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care. In the proposed rule, we proposed exceptions to the physician self-referral law for certain value-based compensation arrangements between or among physicians, providers, and suppliers. A new exception for certain arrangements under which a physician receives limited remuneration for items or services actually provided by the physician.

A new exception for donations of cybersecurity technology and related services can u buy sustiva over the counter. And amendments to the existing exception for electronic health records (EHR) items and services. The proposed rule also provides critically necessary guidance for physicians and health care providers and suppliers whose financial relationships are governed by the physician self-referral statute and regulations. This notice can u buy sustiva over the counter announces an extension of the timeline for publication of the final rule and the continuation of effectiveness of the proposed rule.

Section 1871(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires us to establish and publish a regular timeline for the publication of final regulations based on the previous publication of a proposed regulation. In accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act, the timeline may vary among different regulations based on differences in the complexity of the regulation, the number and scope of comments received, and other relevant factors, but may not be longer than 3 years except under exceptional circumstances. In addition, in accordance with section 1871(a)(3)(B) of the Act, the Secretary may extend the initial targeted publication date of the final regulation if the Secretary, no later than the regulation's previously established proposed publication date, publishes a can u buy sustiva over the counter notice with the new target date, and such notice includes a brief explanation of the justification for the variation. We announced in the Spring 2020 Unified Agenda (June 30, 2020, www.reginfo.gov) that we would issue the final rule in August 2020.

However, we are still working through the Start Printed Page 52941complexity of the issues raised by comments received on the proposed rule and therefore we are not able to meet the announced publication target date. This notice extends the timeline for publication of the final rule until August can u buy sustiva over the counter 31, 2021. Start Signature Dated. August 24, 2020.

Wilma M. Robinson, Deputy can u buy sustiva over the counter Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-18867 Filed 8-26-20.

8:45 am]BILLING CODE can u buy sustiva over the counter 4120-01-PToday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced over $117 million in quality improvement awards to 1,318 health centers across all U.S. States, territories and the District of Columbia. HRSA-funded health centers will use these funds to further strengthen quality improvement activities and expand quality primary health care service delivery.“These quality improvement awards can u buy sustiva over the counter support health centers across the country in delivering care to nearly 30 million people, providing a convenient source of quality care that has grown even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

€œThese awards help ensure that all patients who visit a HRSA-funded health center continue to receive the highest quality of care, including access to COVID-19 testing and treatment.”Health centers deliver comprehensive care to people who are low-income, uninsured or face other obstacles to getting health care. On top of the safety-net that they provide, health centers have been on the front lines preventing and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including providing over 3 million COVID-19 tests. Health centers continue to provide essential services for our nation’s most vulnerable and medically underserved populations, including those who often do not have access to care, before, during and after the COVID-19 can u buy sustiva over the counter pandemic.HRSA’s quality improvement awards recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide as well as those health centers that have made significant quality improvements from the previous year.Health centers are recognized for achievements in various areas. Improving cost-efficient care delivery.

Increasing quality of care. Reducing health disparities can u buy sustiva over the counter. Increasing both the number of patients served. Increasing patients’ ability to access comprehensive services.

Advancing the use of health information can u buy sustiva over the counter technology. And Achieving patient-centered medical home recognition.“Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers have demonstrated improvement in their clinical quality measures reflecting HRSA’s strong commitment to providing high value health care,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. €œHealth centers serve approximately 1 in 11 people nationally. These awards will support health centers as they can u buy sustiva over the counter continue to be a primary medical home for communities around the country.

Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate nearly 13,000 service delivery sites nationwide.”For a list of today’s award recipients, visit. Https://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/qualityimprovement/index.html To locate a HRSA-funded health center, visit. Https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/..

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Schools also best online sustiva have been stretched thin, with teachers scrambling to teach students online. Yet, the amount of federal funding Texas has available today to help weather this emergency was driven in part by the census responses made a decade ago. Getting an accurate count in 2020 will help Texans prepare for the decade to follow, the first few years of which most certainly will be spent rebuilding from the pandemic’s fallout. Therefore, it is vital that all Texans be counted.The federal dollars Texas receives generally depends on best online sustiva our population. A George Washington University study recently found that even a 1% undercount can lead to a $300 million loss in funding.Take Medicaid, for example.

Federal funds pay for 60% of the best online sustiva state’s program, which provides health coverage for two out of five Texas children, one in three individuals with disabilities, and 53% of all births. The complicated formula used to calculate the federal portion of this funding depends on accurate census data. If Texas’ population is undercounted, Texans may appear better off financially than they really are, resulting in Texas getting fewer federal Medicaid dollars. If that happens, lawmakers will have to make up the difference, with cuts in services, program eligibility, or physician and provider payments, any of which are potentially detrimental.The census data also is key to funding other aspects of a community’s social safety net:Health careThe Children’s Health Insurance Program best online sustiva (CHIP) provides low-cost health insurance to children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford quality coverage. Like Medicaid, how much money the federal government reimburses the state for the program depends in part on the census.Maternal and child health programs that promote public health and help ensure children are vaccinated relies on data from the census.

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Thank you for helping Texas heal and for supporting these essential safety net programs.(L to R). UTHSA medical students Swetha Maddipudi, Brittany Hansen, Charles Wang, Carson Cortino, faculty advisor Kaparaboyna Kumar, MD, Ryan Wealther, Sidney Akabogu, Irma Ruiz, and Frank best online sustiva Jung pose with the TMA Be Wise Immunize banner. Photo courtesy by Ryan WealtherRyan WealtherMedical Student, UT Health San Antonio Long School of MedicineStudent Member, Texas Medical AssociationEditor’s Note. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This article is part of a Me&My Doctor series highlighting and promoting the use best online sustiva of vaccinations.“Can the flu shot give you the flu?.

€â€œIs it dangerous for pregnant women to get a flu shot?. €â€œCan vaccines best online sustiva cause autism?. €These were questions women at Alpha Home, a residential substance abuse rehabilitation center in San Antonio, asked my fellow medical students and me during a flu vaccine discussion. It is easy to see why these questions were asked, as vaccine misinformation is common today.UTHSA medical student Frank Jing (left) gets a vaccine fromKaparaboyna Kumar, MD, (right).Photo courtesy of Ryan Wealther“No” is the answer to all the questions. These were exactly the types of myths we set out to dispel at our vaccination drive.UT Health San Antonio Long best online sustiva School of Medicine medical students (under the supervision of Kaparaboyna Ashok Kumar, MD, faculty advisor for the Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section at UT Health San Antonio) hosted the vaccine drive at Alpha Home with the support of TMA’s Be Wise – Immunize℠ program, a public health initiative that aims to increase vaccinations and vaccine awareness through shot clinics and education.

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Vaccine hesitancy is a problem because it prevents individuals from receiving their vaccinations. That makes them more susceptible to getting sick from vaccine-preventable diseases.)We surveyed the residents’ opinions about vaccinations before and after our educational program. While opinions about shots improved with each survey question, we saw the most best online sustiva significant attitude change reflected in answers to the questions “I am concerned that vaccinations might not be safe,” and “How likely are you to receive a flu shot today?. € We had informed the residents and improved their understanding and acceptance of immunizations.Post-survey results show more residents at the Alpha Home shifted to more positive attitudes about vaccines, after learning more about their effectiveness by trusted members of the medical community. Graph by Ryan best online sustiva WealtherWhy is this important?.

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Lauren Gambill, MDPediatrician, AustinMember, Texas Medical Association (TMA) Committee on Child and can u buy sustiva over the counter Adolescent HealthExecutive Board Member, Texas Pediatric SocietyDoctors are community leaders. This role has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. As patients navigate our new reality, they are looking to us to determine what is safe, how to protect their families, and the can u buy sustiva over the counter future of their health care. As more Texans lose their jobs, their health insurance, or even their homes, it is crucial that Texas receives the resources it needs to uphold our social safety net.

The U.S. Census helps can u buy sustiva over the counter determine funding for those resources, and that is why it is of the upmost importance that each and every Texan, no matter address, immigration status, or age, respond to the 2020 U.S. Census. The deadline has been cut can u buy sustiva over the counter short one month and now closes Sept.

30.COVID-19 has only increased the importance of completing the census to help our local communities and economies recover. The novel coronavirus has inflicted unprecedented strain on patients and exacerbated inequality as more people are out of work and are many in need of help with food, health care, housing, and more. Schools also have can u buy sustiva over the counter been stretched thin, with teachers scrambling to teach students online. Yet, the amount of federal funding Texas has available today to help weather this emergency was driven in part by the census responses made a decade ago.

Getting an accurate count in 2020 will help Texans prepare for the decade to follow, the first few years of which most certainly will be spent rebuilding from the pandemic’s fallout. Therefore, it can u buy sustiva over the counter is vital that all Texans be counted.The federal dollars Texas receives generally depends on our population. A George Washington University study recently found that even a 1% undercount can lead to a $300 million loss in funding.Take Medicaid, for example. Federal funds pay for 60% of the state’s program, which provides health coverage for two out can u buy sustiva over the counter of five Texas children, one in three individuals with disabilities, and 53% of all births.

The complicated formula used to calculate the federal portion of this funding depends on accurate census data. If Texas’ population is undercounted, Texans may appear better off financially than they really are, resulting in Texas getting fewer federal Medicaid dollars. If that happens, lawmakers will have to make up the difference, with cuts in services, program eligibility, or physician and provider payments, any of which are potentially detrimental.The census data also is key to funding other aspects of a community’s social can u buy sustiva over the counter safety net:Health careThe Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health insurance to children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford quality coverage. Like Medicaid, how much money the federal government reimburses the state for the program depends in part on the census.Maternal and child health programs that promote public health and help ensure children are vaccinated relies on data from the census.

Texas also uses this federal funding to study and respond to maternal mortality and perinatal depression.Food and housing As unemployment rises and families can u buy sustiva over the counter struggle financially, many live with uncertainty as to where they will find their next meal. Already, one in seven Texans experiences food insecurity, and 20% of Texas children experience hunger. Food insecurity is rising in Texas as the pandemic continues. The Central can u buy sustiva over the counter Texas Food Bank saw a 206% rise in clients in March.

Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and school lunch programs are both determined by the census. Funding for local housing programs also is calculated via the census. An accurate count can u buy sustiva over the counter will help ensure that people who lose their homes during this economic crisis have better hope of finding shelter while our communities recover. Homelessness is closely connected with declines in overall physical and mental health.Childcare and educationAs we navigate the new reality brought on by coronavirus, more parents are taking on roles as breadwinner, parent, teacher, and caretaker.

This stress highlights the desperate can u buy sustiva over the counter need for affordable childcare. The census determines funding for programs like Head Start that provide comprehensive early childhood education to low-income families. The good news is you still have time to complete the census. Visit 2020census.gov can u buy sustiva over the counter to take it.

It takes less than five minutes to complete. Then talk to can u buy sustiva over the counter your family, neighbors, and colleagues about doing the same. If you are wondering who counts, the answer is everyone, whether it’s a newborn baby, child in foster care, undocumented immigrant, or an individual experiencing homelessness.Completing the census is one of the best things that you can do for the health of your community, especially during the pandemic. Thank you for helping Texas heal and for supporting these essential safety net programs.(L to R).

UTHSA medical students Swetha Maddipudi, Brittany Hansen, Charles Wang, Carson Cortino, faculty advisor Kaparaboyna Kumar, can u buy sustiva over the counter MD, Ryan Wealther, Sidney Akabogu, Irma Ruiz, and Frank Jung pose with the TMA Be Wise Immunize banner. Photo courtesy by Ryan WealtherRyan WealtherMedical Student, UT Health San Antonio Long School of MedicineStudent Member, Texas Medical AssociationEditor’s Note. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This article is part can u buy sustiva over the counter of a Me&My Doctor series highlighting and promoting the use of vaccinations.“Can the flu shot give you the flu?.

€â€œIs it dangerous for pregnant women to get a flu shot?. €â€œCan vaccines can u buy sustiva over the counter cause autism?. €These were questions women at Alpha Home, a residential substance abuse rehabilitation center in San Antonio, asked my fellow medical students and me during a flu vaccine discussion. It is easy to see why these questions were asked, as vaccine misinformation is common today.UTHSA medical student Frank Jing (left) gets a vaccine fromKaparaboyna Kumar, MD, (right).Photo courtesy of Ryan Wealther“No” is the answer to all the questions.

These were exactly the types can u buy sustiva over the counter of myths we set out to dispel at our vaccination drive.UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine medical students (under the supervision of Kaparaboyna Ashok Kumar, MD, faculty advisor for the Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section at UT Health San Antonio) hosted the vaccine drive at Alpha Home with the support of TMA’s Be Wise – Immunize℠ program, a public health initiative that aims to increase vaccinations and vaccine awareness through shot clinics and education. Our program consisted of a vaccination drive and an interactive, educational presentation that addressed influenza, common flu shot questions, and general vaccine myths. The Alpha Home residents could ask us can u buy sustiva over the counter questions during the program.We were interested to see if our educational program could answer Alpha Home residents’ questions about vaccinations and allay their hesitations about getting a flu vaccination. To gauge this, we created a brief survey.(Before I discuss the results of the survey, I should define vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccine hesitancy is a concept defined by the World Health Organization. It relates to can u buy sustiva over the counter when patients do not vaccinate despite having access to vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is a problem because it prevents individuals from receiving their vaccinations. That makes them more susceptible to getting sick from vaccine-preventable diseases.)We surveyed the residents’ opinions about vaccinations before and after our educational program.

While opinions about shots improved with each survey question, we saw the most significant attitude change reflected in answers to the questions “I am concerned that vaccinations might not be safe,” and “How likely are you to receive a flu can u buy sustiva over the counter shot today?. € We had informed the residents and improved their understanding and acceptance of immunizations.Post-survey results show more residents at the Alpha Home shifted to more positive attitudes about vaccines, after learning more about their effectiveness by trusted members of the medical community. Graph by can u buy sustiva over the counter Ryan WealtherWhy is this important?. First, our findings confirm what we already knew.

Education by a trusted member of the medical community can effect change. In fact, it is widely known that physician recommendation can u buy sustiva over the counter of vaccination is one of the most critical factors affecting whether patients receive an influenza vaccination. Perhaps some added proof to this is that a few of the Alpha Home residents were calling me “Dr. Truth” by the end of the evening.Second, our can u buy sustiva over the counter findings add to our understanding of adult vaccine hesitancy.

This is significant because most of what we know about vaccine hesitancy is limited to parental attitudes toward their children’s vaccinations. Some parents question shots for their children, and many of the most deadly diseases we vaccinate against are given in childhood, including polio, tetanus, measles, and whooping cough shots. However, adults can u buy sustiva over the counter need some vaccinations as well, like the yearly influenza vaccine. After taking part in the UTHSA educational program, more residents at the Alpha Home shared more willingness to receive the flu vaccine.

Graph by Ryan WealtherAnother reason improving attitudes is important is that receiving a flu shot is even more timely during the COVID-19 pandemic because it decreases illnesses and conserves health care resources. Thousands of people each can u buy sustiva over the counter year are hospitalized from the flu, and with hospitals filling up with coronavirus patients, we could avoid adding dangerously ill flu patients to the mix. Lastly, these findings are important because once a COVID-19 vaccination becomes available, more people might be willing to receive it if their overall attitude toward immunizations is positive. Though the COVID-19 vaccine is still can u buy sustiva over the counter in development, it is not immune to vaccine hesitancy.

Recent polls have indicated up to one-third of Americans would not receive a COVID-19 vaccine even if it were accessible and affordable. Work is already being done to try to raise awareness and acceptance. In addition, can u buy sustiva over the counter misinformation about the COVID vaccine is circulating widely. (Someone recently asked me if the COVID vaccine will implant a microchip in people, and I have seen the same myth circulating on social media.

It will not.) This myth, however, illustrates the need for health care professionals to answer patients’ questions and to assuage their concerns.Vaccines work best when many people in a community receive them, and vaccine hesitancy can u buy sustiva over the counter can diminish vaccination rates, leaving people who can't get certain vaccines susceptible to these vaccine-preventable diseases. For example, babies under 6 months of age should not receive a flu shot, so high community vaccination rates protect these babies from getting sick with the flu. Our educational program at Alpha Home is just one example of how health care professionals can increase awareness and acceptance of shots. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we need to ensure children and adults receive their vaccinations as recommended by their physician and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can u buy sustiva over the counter.

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Trial Population sustiva prices walmart Table 1. Table 1. Characteristics of the Participants in the mRNA-1273 Trial at Enrollment sustiva prices walmart. The 45 enrolled participants received their first vaccination between March 16 and April 14, 2020 (Fig.

S1). Three participants did not receive the second vaccination, including one in the 25-μg group who had urticaria on both legs, with onset 5 days after the first vaccination, and two (one in the 25-μg group and one in the 250-μg group) who missed the second vaccination window owing to isolation for suspected Covid-19 while the test results, ultimately negative, were pending. All continued to attend scheduled trial visits. The demographic characteristics of participants at enrollment are provided in Table 1.

Vaccine Safety No serious adverse events were noted, and no prespecified trial halting rules were met. As noted above, one participant in the 25-μg group was withdrawn because of an unsolicited adverse event, transient urticaria, judged to be related to the first vaccination. Figure 1. Figure 1.

Systemic and Local Adverse Events. The severity of solicited adverse events was graded as mild, moderate, or severe (see Table S1).After the first vaccination, solicited systemic adverse events were reported by 5 participants (33%) in the 25-μg group, 10 (67%) in the 100-μg group, and 8 (53%) in the 250-μg group. All were mild or moderate in severity (Figure 1 and Table S2). Solicited systemic adverse events were more common after the second vaccination and occurred in 7 of 13 participants (54%) in the 25-μg group, all 15 in the 100-μg group, and all 14 in the 250-μg group, with 3 of those participants (21%) reporting one or more severe events.

None of the participants had fever after the first vaccination. After the second vaccination, no participants in the 25-μg group, 6 (40%) in the 100-μg group, and 8 (57%) in the 250-μg group reported fever. One of the events (maximum temperature, 39.6°C) in the 250-μg group was graded severe. (Additional details regarding adverse events for that participant are provided in the Supplementary Appendix.) Local adverse events, when present, were nearly all mild or moderate, and pain at the injection site was common.

Across both vaccinations, solicited systemic and local adverse events that occurred in more than half the participants included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Evaluation of safety clinical laboratory values of grade 2 or higher and unsolicited adverse events revealed no patterns of concern (Supplementary Appendix and Table S3). SARS-CoV-2 Binding Antibody Responses Table 2. Table 2.

Geometric Mean Humoral Immunogenicity Assay Responses to mRNA-1273 in Participants and in Convalescent Serum Specimens. Figure 2. Figure 2. SARS-CoV-2 Antibody and Neutralization Responses.

Shown are geometric mean reciprocal end-point enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) IgG titers to S-2P (Panel A) and receptor-binding domain (Panel B), PsVNA ID50 responses (Panel C), and live virus PRNT80 responses (Panel D). In Panel A and Panel B, boxes and horizontal bars denote interquartile range (IQR) and median area under the curve (AUC), respectively. Whisker endpoints are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR. The convalescent serum panel includes specimens from 41 participants.

Red dots indicate the 3 specimens that were also tested in the PRNT assay. The other 38 specimens were used to calculate summary statistics for the box plot in the convalescent serum panel. In Panel C, boxes and horizontal bars denote IQR and median ID50, respectively. Whisker end points are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR.

In the convalescent serum panel, red dots indicate the 3 specimens that were also tested in the PRNT assay. The other 38 specimens were used to calculate summary statistics for the box plot in the convalescent panel. In Panel D, boxes and horizontal bars denote IQR and median PRNT80, respectively. Whisker end points are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR.

The three convalescent serum specimens were also tested in ELISA and PsVNA assays. Because of the time-intensive nature of the PRNT assay, for this preliminary report, PRNT results were available only for the 25-μg and 100-μg dose groups.Binding antibody IgG geometric mean titers (GMTs) to S-2P increased rapidly after the first vaccination, with seroconversion in all participants by day 15 (Table 2 and Figure 2A). Dose-dependent responses to the first and second vaccinations were evident. Receptor-binding domain–specific antibody responses were similar in pattern and magnitude (Figure 2B).

For both assays, the median magnitude of antibody responses after the first vaccination in the 100-μg and 250-μg dose groups was similar to the median magnitude in convalescent serum specimens, and in all dose groups the median magnitude after the second vaccination was in the upper quartile of values in the convalescent serum specimens. The S-2P ELISA GMTs at day 57 (299,751 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 206,071 to 436,020] in the 25-μg group, 782,719 [95% CI, 619,310 to 989,244] in the 100-μg group, and 1,192,154 [95% CI, 924,878 to 1,536,669] in the 250-μg group) exceeded that in the convalescent serum specimens (142,140 [95% CI, 81,543 to 247,768]). SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Responses No participant had detectable PsVNA responses before vaccination. After the first vaccination, PsVNA responses were detected in less than half the participants, and a dose effect was seen (50% inhibitory dilution [ID50].

Figure 2C, Fig. S8, and Table 2. 80% inhibitory dilution [ID80]. Fig.

S2 and Table S6). However, after the second vaccination, PsVNA responses were identified in serum samples from all participants. The lowest responses were in the 25-μg dose group, with a geometric mean ID50 of 112.3 (95% CI, 71.2 to 177.1) at day 43. The higher responses in the 100-μg and 250-μg groups were similar in magnitude (geometric mean ID50, 343.8 [95% CI, 261.2 to 452.7] and 332.2 [95% CI, 266.3 to 414.5], respectively, at day 43).

These responses were similar to values in the upper half of the distribution of values for convalescent serum specimens. Before vaccination, no participant had detectable 80% live-virus neutralization at the highest serum concentration tested (1:8 dilution) in the PRNT assay. At day 43, wild-type virus–neutralizing activity capable of reducing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity by 80% or more (PRNT80) was detected in all participants, with geometric mean PRNT80 responses of 339.7 (95% CI, 184.0 to 627.1) in the 25-μg group and 654.3 (95% CI, 460.1 to 930.5) in the 100-μg group (Figure 2D). Neutralizing PRNT80 average responses were generally at or above the values of the three convalescent serum specimens tested in this assay.

Good agreement was noted within and between the values from binding assays for S-2P and receptor-binding domain and neutralizing activity measured by PsVNA and PRNT (Figs. S3 through S7), which provides orthogonal support for each assay in characterizing the humoral response induced by mRNA-1273. SARS-CoV-2 T-Cell Responses The 25-μg and 100-μg doses elicited CD4 T-cell responses (Figs. S9 and S10) that on stimulation by S-specific peptide pools were strongly biased toward expression of Th1 cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α >.

Interleukin 2 >. Interferon γ), with minimal type 2 helper T-cell (Th2) cytokine expression (interleukin 4 and interleukin 13). CD8 T-cell responses to S-2P were detected at low levels after the second vaccination in the 100-μg dose group (Fig. S11).Patients Figure 1.

Figure 1. Enrollment and Randomization. Of the 1107 patients who were assessed for eligibility, 1063 underwent randomization. 541 were assigned to the remdesivir group and 522 to the placebo group (Figure 1).

Of those assigned to receive remdesivir, 531 patients (98.2%) received the treatment as assigned. Forty-nine patients had remdesivir treatment discontinued before day 10 because of an adverse event or a serious adverse event other than death (36 patients) or because the patient withdrew consent (13). Of those assigned to receive placebo, 518 patients (99.2%) received placebo as assigned. Fifty-three patients discontinued placebo before day 10 because of an adverse event or a serious adverse event other than death (36 patients), because the patient withdrew consent (15), or because the patient was found to be ineligible for trial enrollment (2).

As of April 28, 2020, a total of 391 patients in the remdesivir group and 340 in the placebo group had completed the trial through day 29, recovered, or died. Eight patients who received remdesivir and 9 who received placebo terminated their participation in the trial before day 29. There were 132 patients in the remdesivir group and 169 in the placebo group who had not recovered and had not completed the day 29 follow-up visit. The analysis population included 1059 patients for whom we have at least some postbaseline data available (538 in the remdesivir group and 521 in the placebo group).

Four of the 1063 patients were not included in the primary analysis because no postbaseline data were available at the time of the database freeze. Table 1. Table 1. Demographic and Clinical Characteristics at Baseline.

The mean age of patients was 58.9 years, and 64.3% were male (Table 1). On the basis of the evolving epidemiology of Covid-19 during the trial, 79.8% of patients were enrolled at sites in North America, 15.3% in Europe, and 4.9% in Asia (Table S1). Overall, 53.2% of the patients were white, 20.6% were black, 12.6% were Asian, and 13.6% were designated as other or not reported. 249 (23.4%) were Hispanic or Latino.

Most patients had either one (27.0%) or two or more (52.1%) of the prespecified coexisting conditions at enrollment, most commonly hypertension (49.6%), obesity (37.0%), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (29.7%). The median number of days between symptom onset and randomization was 9 (interquartile range, 6 to 12). Nine hundred forty-three (88.7%) patients had severe disease at enrollment as defined in the Supplementary Appendix. 272 (25.6%) patients met category 7 criteria on the ordinal scale, 197 (18.5%) category 6, 421 (39.6%) category 5, and 127 (11.9%) category 4.

There were 46 (4.3%) patients who had missing ordinal scale data at enrollment. No substantial imbalances in baseline characteristics were observed between the remdesivir group and the placebo group. Primary Outcome Figure 2. Figure 2.

Kaplan–Meier Estimates of Cumulative Recoveries. Cumulative recovery estimates are shown in the overall population (Panel A), in patients with a baseline score of 4 on the ordinal scale (not receiving oxygen. Panel B), in those with a baseline score of 5 (receiving oxygen. Panel C), in those with a baseline score of 6 (receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive mechanical ventilation.

Panel D), and in those with a baseline score of 7 (receiving mechanical ventilation or ECMO. Panel E). Table 2. Table 2.

Outcomes Overall and According to Score on the Ordinal Scale in the Intention-to-Treat Population. Figure 3. Figure 3. Time to Recovery According to Subgroup.

The widths of the confidence intervals have not been adjusted for multiplicity and therefore cannot be used to infer treatment effects. Race and ethnic group were reported by the patients. Patients in the remdesivir group had a shorter time to recovery than patients in the placebo group (median, 11 days, as compared with 15 days. Rate ratio for recovery, 1.32.

95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.55. P<0.001. 1059 patients (Figure 2 and Table 2). Among patients with a baseline ordinal score of 5 (421 patients), the rate ratio for recovery was 1.47 (95% CI, 1.17 to 1.84).

Among patients with a baseline score of 4 (127 patients) and those with a baseline score of 6 (197 patients), the rate ratio estimates for recovery were 1.38 (95% CI, 0.94 to 2.03) and 1.20 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.81), respectively. For those receiving mechanical ventilation or ECMO at enrollment (baseline ordinal scores of 7. 272 patients), the rate ratio for recovery was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.64 to 1.42). A test of interaction of treatment with baseline score on the ordinal scale was not significant.

An analysis adjusting for baseline ordinal score as a stratification variable was conducted to evaluate the overall effect (of the percentage of patients in each ordinal score category at baseline) on the primary outcome. This adjusted analysis produced a similar treatment-effect estimate (rate ratio for recovery, 1.31. 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.54. 1017 patients).

Table S2 in the Supplementary Appendix shows results according to the baseline severity stratum of mild-to-moderate as compared with severe. Patients who underwent randomization during the first 10 days after the onset of symptoms had a rate ratio for recovery of 1.28 (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.57. 664 patients), whereas patients who underwent randomization more than 10 days after the onset of symptoms had a rate ratio for recovery of 1.38 (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.81. 380 patients) (Figure 3).

Key Secondary Outcome The odds of improvement in the ordinal scale score were higher in the remdesivir group, as determined by a proportional odds model at the day 15 visit, than in the placebo group (odds ratio for improvement, 1.50. 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.91. P=0.001. 844 patients) (Table 2 and Fig.

S5). Mortality was numerically lower in the remdesivir group than in the placebo group, but the difference was not significant (hazard ratio for death, 0.70. 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.04. 1059 patients).

The Kaplan–Meier estimates of mortality by 14 days were 7.1% and 11.9% in the remdesivir and placebo groups, respectively (Table 2). The Kaplan–Meier estimates of mortality by 28 days are not reported in this preliminary analysis, given the large number of patients that had yet to complete day 29 visits. An analysis with adjustment for baseline ordinal score as a stratification variable showed a hazard ratio for death of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.50 to 1.10). Safety Outcomes Serious adverse events occurred in 114 patients (21.1%) in the remdesivir group and 141 patients (27.0%) in the placebo group (Table S3).

4 events (2 in each group) were judged by site investigators to be related to remdesivir or placebo. There were 28 serious respiratory failure adverse events in the remdesivir group (5.2% of patients) and 42 in the placebo group (8.0% of patients). Acute respiratory failure, hypotension, viral pneumonia, and acute kidney injury were slightly more common among patients in the placebo group. No deaths were considered to be related to treatment assignment, as judged by the site investigators.

Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 156 patients (28.8%) in the remdesivir group and in 172 in the placebo group (33.0%) (Table S4). The most common adverse events in the remdesivir group were anemia or decreased hemoglobin (43 events [7.9%], as compared with 47 [9.0%] in the placebo group). Acute kidney injury, decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate or creatinine clearance, or increased blood creatinine (40 events [7.4%], as compared with 38 [7.3%]). Pyrexia (27 events [5.0%], as compared with 17 [3.3%]).

Hyperglycemia or increased blood glucose level (22 events [4.1%], as compared with 17 [3.3%]). And increased aminotransferase levels including alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, or both (22 events [4.1%], as compared with 31 [5.9%]). Otherwise, the incidence of adverse events was not found to be significantly different between the remdesivir group and the placebo group.Announced on May 15, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) — a partnership of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the private sector — aims to accelerate control of the Covid-19 pandemic by advancing development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. OWS is providing support to promising candidates and enabling the expeditious, parallel execution of the necessary steps toward approval or authorization of safe products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The partnership grew out of an acknowledged need to fundamentally restructure the way the U.S.

Government typically supports product development and vaccine distribution. The initiative was premised on setting a “stretch goal” — one that initially seemed impossible but that is becoming increasingly achievable.The concept of an integrated structure for Covid-19 countermeasure research and development across the U.S. Government was based on experience with Zika and the Zika Leadership Group led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR). One of us (M.S.) serves as OWS chief advisor.

We are drawing on expertise from the NIH, ASPR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the DOD, including the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. OWS has engaged experts in all critical aspects of medical countermeasure research, development, manufacturing, and distribution to work in close coordination.The initiative set ambitious objectives. To deliver tens of millions of doses of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine — with demonstrated safety and efficacy, and approved or authorized by the FDA for use in the U.S. Population — beginning at the end of 2020 and to have as many as 300 million doses of such vaccines available and deployed by mid-2021.

The pace and scope of such a vaccine effort are unprecedented. The 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic spurred rapid vaccine development, but though preclinical data existed before the outbreak, a period of 12 months was required to progress from phase 1 first-in-human trials to phase 3 efficacy trials. OWS aims to compress this time frame even further. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development began in January, phase 1 clinical studies in March, and the first phase 3 trials in July.

Our objectives are based on advances in vaccine platform technology, improved understanding of safe and efficacious vaccine design, and similarities between the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 disease mechanisms.OWS’s role is to enable, accelerate, harmonize, and advise the companies developing the selected vaccines. The companies will execute the clinical or process development and manufacturing plans, while OWS leverages the full capacity of the U.S. Government to ensure that no technical, logistic, or financial hurdles hinder vaccine development or deployment.OWS selected vaccine candidates on the basis of four criteria. We required candidates to have robust preclinical data or early-stage clinical trial data supporting their potential for clinical safety and efficacy.

Candidates had to have the potential, with our acceleration support, to enter large phase 3 field efficacy trials this summer or fall (July to November 2020) and, assuming continued active transmission of the virus, to deliver efficacy outcomes by the end of 2020 or the first half of 2021. Candidates had to be based on vaccine-platform technologies permitting fast and effective manufacturing, and their developers had to demonstrate the industrial process scalability, yields, and consistency necessary to reliably produce more than 100 million doses by mid-2021. Finally, candidates had to use one of four vaccine-platform technologies that we believe are the most likely to yield a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19. The mRNA platform, the replication-defective live-vector platform, the recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein platform, or the attenuated replicating live-vector platform.OWS’s strategy relies on a few key principles.

First, we sought to build a diverse project portfolio that includes two vaccine candidates based on each of the four platform technologies. Such diversification mitigates the risk of failure due to safety, efficacy, industrial manufacturability, or scheduling factors and may permit selection of the best vaccine platform for each subpopulation at risk for contracting or transmitting Covid-19, including older adults, frontline and essential workers, young adults, and pediatric populations. In addition, advancing eight vaccines in parallel will increase the chances of delivering 300 million doses in the first half of 2021.Second, we must accelerate vaccine program development without compromising safety, efficacy, or product quality. Clinical development, process development, and manufacturing scale-up can be substantially accelerated by running all streams, fully resourced, in parallel.

Doing so requires taking on substantial financial risk, as compared with the conventional sequential development approach. OWS will maximize the size of phase 3 trials (30,000 to 50,000 participants each) and optimize trial-site location by consulting daily epidemiologic and disease-forecasting models to ensure the fastest path to an efficacy readout. Such large trials also increase the safety data set for each candidate vaccine.With heavy up-front investment, companies can conduct clinical operations and site preparation for these phase 3 efficacy trials even as they file their Investigational New Drug application (IND) for their phase 1 studies, thereby ensuring immediate initiation of phase 3 when they get a green light from the FDA. To permit appropriate comparisons among the vaccine candidates and to optimize vaccine utilization after approval by the FDA, the phase 3 trial end points and assay readouts have been harmonized through a collaborative effort involving the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Coronavirus Prevention Network, OWS, and the sponsor companies.Finally, OWS is supporting the companies financially and technically to commence process development and scale up manufacturing while their vaccines are in preclinical or very early clinical stages.

To ensure that industrial processes are set, running, and validated for FDA inspection when phase 3 trials end, OWS is also supporting facility building or refurbishing, equipment fitting, staff hiring and training, raw-material sourcing, technology transfer and validation, bulk product processing into vials, and acquisition of ample vials, syringes, and needles for each vaccine candidate. We aim to have stockpiled, at OWS’s expense, a few tens of millions of vaccine doses that could be swiftly deployed once FDA approval is obtained.This strategy aims to accelerate vaccine development without curtailing the critical steps required by sound science and regulatory standards. The FDA recently reissued guidance and standards that will be used to assess each vaccine for a Biologics License Application (BLA). Alternatively, the agency could decide to issue an Emergency Use Authorization to permit vaccine administration before all BLA procedures are completed.Of the eight vaccines in OWS’s portfolio, six have been announced and partnerships executed with the companies.

Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech (both mRNA), AstraZeneca and Janssen (both replication-defective live-vector), and Novavax and Sanofi/GSK (both recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein). These candidates cover three of the four platform technologies and are currently in clinical trials. The remaining two candidates will enter trials soon.Moderna developed its RNA vaccine in collaboration with the NIAID, began its phase 1 trial in March, recently published encouraging safety and immunogenicity data,1 and entered phase 3 on July 27. Pfizer and BioNTech’s RNA vaccine also produced encouraging phase 1 results2 and started its phase 3 trial on July 27.

The ChAdOx replication-defective live-vector vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is in phase 3 trials in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, and it should enter U.S. Phase 3 trials in August.3 The Janssen Ad26 Covid-19 replication-defective live-vector vaccine has demonstrated excellent protection in nonhuman primate models and began its U.S. Phase 1 trial on July 27. It should be in phase 3 trials in mid-September.

Novavax completed a phase 1 trial of its recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein vaccine in Australia and should enter phase 3 trials in the United States by the end of September.4 Sanofi/GSK is completing preclinical development steps and plans to commence a phase 1 trial in early September and to be well into phase 3 by year’s end.5On the process-development front, the RNA vaccines are already being manufactured at scale. The other candidates are well advanced in their scale-up development, and manufacturing sites are being refurbished.While development and manufacturing proceed, the HHS–DOD partnership is laying the groundwork for vaccine distribution, subpopulation prioritization, financing, and logistic support. We are working with bioethicists and experts from the NIH, the CDC, BARDA, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address these critical issues. We will receive recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and we are working to ensure that the most vulnerable and at-risk persons will receive vaccine doses once they are ready.

Prioritization will also depend on the relative performance of each vaccine and its suitability for particular populations. Because some technologies have limited previous data on safety in humans, the long-term safety of these vaccines will be carefully assessed using pharmacovigilance surveillance strategies.No scientific enterprise could guarantee success by January 2021, but the strategic decisions and choices we’ve made, the support the government has provided, and the accomplishments to date make us optimistic that we will succeed in this unprecedented endeavor.Trial Design and Oversight We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate postexposure prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine after exposure to Covid-19.12 We randomly assigned participants in a 1:1 ratio to receive either hydroxychloroquine or placebo. Participants had known exposure (by participant report) to a person with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19, whether as a household contact, a health care worker, or a person with other occupational exposures. Trial enrollment began on March 17, 2020, with an eligibility threshold to enroll within 3 days after exposure.

The objective was to intervene before the median incubation period of 5 to 6 days. Because of limited access to prompt testing, health care workers could initially be enrolled on the basis of presumptive high-risk exposure to patients with pending tests. However, on March 23, eligibility was changed to exposure to a person with a positive polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assay for SARS-CoV-2, with the eligibility window extended to within 4 days after exposure. This trial was approved by the institutional review board at the University of Minnesota and conducted under a Food and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug application.

In Canada, the trial was approved by Health Canada. Ethics approvals were obtained from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Alberta. Participants We included participants who had household or occupational exposure to a person with confirmed Covid-19 at a distance of less than 6 ft for more than 10 minutes while wearing neither a face mask nor an eye shield (high-risk exposure) or while wearing a face mask but no eye shield (moderate-risk exposure). Participants were excluded if they were younger than 18 years of age, were hospitalized, or met other exclusion criteria (see the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org).

Persons with symptoms of Covid-19 or with PCR-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection were excluded from this prevention trial but were separately enrolled in a companion clinical trial to treat early infection. Setting Recruitment was performed primarily with the use of social media outreach as well as traditional media platforms. Participants were enrolled nationwide in the United States and in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta. Participants enrolled themselves through a secure Internet-based survey using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system.13 After participants read the consent form, their comprehension of its contents was assessed.

Participants provided a digitally captured signature to indicate informed consent. We sent follow-up e-mail surveys on days 1, 5, 10, and 14. A survey at 4 to 6 weeks asked about any follow-up testing, illness, or hospitalizations. Participants who did not respond to follow-up surveys received text messages, e-mails, telephone calls, or a combination of these to ascertain their outcomes.

When these methods were unsuccessful, the emergency contact provided by the enrollee was contacted to determine the participant’s illness and vital status. When all communication methods were exhausted, Internet searches for obituaries were performed to ascertain vital status. Interventions Randomization occurred at research pharmacies in Minneapolis and Montreal. The trial statisticians generated a permuted-block randomization sequence using variably sized blocks of 2, 4, or 8, with stratification according to country.

A research pharmacist sequentially assigned participants. The assignments were concealed from investigators and participants. Only pharmacies had access to the randomization sequence. Hydroxychloroquine sulfate or placebo was dispensed and shipped overnight to participants by commercial courier.

The dosing regimen for hydroxychloroquine was 800 mg (4 tablets) once, then 600 mg (3 tablets) 6 to 8 hours later, then 600 mg (3 tablets) daily for 4 more days for a total course of 5 days (19 tablets total). If participants had gastrointestinal upset, they were advised to divide the daily dose into two or three doses. We chose this hydroxychloroquine dosing regimen on the basis of pharmacokinetic simulations to achieve plasma concentrations above the SARS-CoV-2 in vitro half maximal effective concentration for 14 days.14 Placebo folate tablets, which were similar in appearance to the hydroxychloroquine tablets, were prescribed as an identical regimen for the control group. Rising Pharmaceuticals provided a donation of hydroxychloroquine, and some hydroxychloroquine was purchased.

Outcomes The primary outcome was prespecified as symptomatic illness confirmed by a positive molecular assay or, if testing was unavailable, Covid-19–related symptoms. We assumed that health care workers would have access to Covid-19 testing if symptomatic. However, access to testing was limited throughout the trial period. Covid-19–related symptoms were based on U.S.

Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists criteria for confirmed cases (positivity for SARS-Cov-2 on PCR assay), probable cases (the presence of cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, or the presence of two or more symptoms of fever, chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, and new olfactory and taste disorders), and possible cases (the presence of one or more compatible symptoms, which could include diarrhea).15 All the participants had epidemiologic linkage,15 per trial eligibility criteria. Four infectious disease physicians who were unaware of the trial-group assignments reviewed symptomatic participants to generate a consensus with respect to whether their condition met the case definition.15 Secondary outcomes included the incidence of hospitalization for Covid-19 or death, the incidence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, the incidence of Covid-19 symptoms, the incidence of discontinuation of the trial intervention owing to any cause, and the severity of symptoms (if any) at days 5 and 14 according to a visual analogue scale (scores ranged from 0 [no symptoms] to 10 [severe symptoms]). Data on adverse events were also collected with directed questioning for common side effects along with open-ended free text. Outcome data were measured within 14 days after trial enrollment.

Outcome data including PCR testing results, possible Covid-19–related symptoms, adherence to the trial intervention, side effects, and hospitalizations were all collected through participant report. Details of trial conduct are provided in the protocol and statistical analysis plan, available at NEJM.org. Sample Size We anticipated that illness compatible with Covid-19 would develop in 10% of close contacts exposed to Covid-19.9 Using Fisher’s exact method with a 50% relative effect size to reduce new symptomatic infections, a two-sided alpha of 0.05, and 90% power, we estimated that 621 persons would need to be enrolled in each group. With a pragmatic, Internet-based, self-referral recruitment strategy, we planned for a 20% incidence of attrition by increasing the sample size to 750 participants per group.

We specified a priori that participants who were already symptomatic on day 1 before receiving hydroxychloroquine or placebo would be excluded from the prophylaxis trial and would instead be separately enrolled in the companion symptomatic treatment trial. Because the estimates for both incident symptomatic Covid-19 after an exposure and loss to follow-up were relatively unknown in early March 2020,9 the protocol prespecified a sample-size reestimation at the second interim analysis. This reestimation, which used the incidence of new infections in the placebo group and the observed percentage of participants lost to follow-up, was aimed at maintaining the ability to detect an effect size of a 50% relative reduction in new symptomatic infections. Interim Analyses An independent data and safety monitoring board externally reviewed the data after 25% and 50% of the participants had completed 14 days of follow-up.

Stopping guidelines were provided to the data and safety monitoring board with the use of a Lan–DeMets spending function analogue of the O’Brien–Fleming boundaries for the primary outcome. A conditional power analysis was performed at the second and third interim analysis with the option of early stopping for futility. At the second interim analysis on April 22, 2020, the sample size was reduced to 956 participants who could be evaluated with 90% power on the basis of the higher-than-expected event rate of infections in the control group. At the third interim analysis on May 6, the trial was halted on the basis of a conditional power of less than 1%, since it was deemed futile to continue.

Statistical Analysis We assessed the incidence of Covid-19 disease by day 14 with Fisher’s exact test. Secondary outcomes with respect to percentage of patients were also compared with Fisher’s exact test. Among participants in whom incident illness compatible with Covid-19 developed, we summarized the symptom severity score at day 14 with the median and interquartile range and assessed the distributions with a Kruskal–Wallis test. We conducted all analyses with SAS software, version 9.4 (SAS Institute), according to the intention-to-treat principle, with two-sided type I error with an alpha of 0.05.

For participants with missing outcome data, we conducted a sensitivity analysis with their outcomes excluded or included as an event. Subgroups that were specified a priori included type of contact (household vs. Health care), days from exposure to enrollment, age, and sex.Trial Design and Oversight The RECOVERY trial was designed to evaluate the effects of potential treatments in patients hospitalized with Covid-19 at 176 National Health Service organizations in the United Kingdom and was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network. (Details regarding this trial are provided in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.) The trial is being coordinated by the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, the trial sponsor.

Although the randomization of patients to receive dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, or lopinavir–ritonavir has now been stopped, the trial continues randomization to groups receiving azithromycin, tocilizumab, or convalescent plasma. Hospitalized patients were eligible for the trial if they had clinically suspected or laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and no medical history that might, in the opinion of the attending clinician, put patients at substantial risk if they were to participate in the trial. Initially, recruitment was limited to patients who were at least 18 years of age, but the age limit was removed starting on May 9, 2020. Pregnant or breast-feeding women were eligible.

Written informed consent was obtained from all the patients or from a legal representative if they were unable to provide consent. The trial was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Good Clinical Practice guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonisation and was approved by the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Cambridge East Research Ethics Committee. The protocol with its statistical analysis plan is available at NEJM.org and on the trial website at www.recoverytrial.net.

The initial version of the manuscript was drafted by the first and last authors, developed by the writing committee, and approved by all members of the trial steering committee. The funders had no role in the analysis of the data, in the preparation or approval of the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. The first and last members of the writing committee vouch for the completeness and accuracy of the data and for the fidelity of the trial to the protocol and statistical analysis plan. Randomization We collected baseline data using a Web-based case-report form that included demographic data, the level of respiratory support, major coexisting illnesses, suitability of the trial treatment for a particular patient, and treatment availability at the trial site.

Randomization was performed with the use of a Web-based system with concealment of the trial-group assignment. Eligible and consenting patients were assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either the usual standard of care alone or the usual standard of care plus oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days (or until hospital discharge if sooner) or to receive one of the other suitable and available treatments that were being evaluated in the trial. For some patients, dexamethasone was unavailable at the hospital at the time of enrollment or was considered by the managing physician to be either definitely indicated or definitely contraindicated. These patients were excluded from entry in the randomized comparison between dexamethasone and usual care and hence were not included in this report.

The randomly assigned treatment was prescribed by the treating clinician. Patients and local members of the trial staff were aware of the assigned treatments. Procedures A single online follow-up form was to be completed when the patients were discharged or had died or at 28 days after randomization, whichever occurred first. Information was recorded regarding the patients’ adherence to the assigned treatment, receipt of other trial treatments, duration of admission, receipt of respiratory support (with duration and type), receipt of renal support, and vital status (including the cause of death).

In addition, we obtained routine health care and registry data, including information on vital status (with date and cause of death), discharge from the hospital, and respiratory and renal support therapy. Outcome Measures The primary outcome was all-cause mortality within 28 days after randomization. Further analyses were specified at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were the time until discharge from the hospital and, among patients not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at the time of randomization, subsequent receipt of invasive mechanical ventilation (including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) or death.

Other prespecified clinical outcomes included cause-specific mortality, receipt of renal hemodialysis or hemofiltration, major cardiac arrhythmia (recorded in a subgroup), and receipt and duration of ventilation. Statistical Analysis As stated in the protocol, appropriate sample sizes could not be estimated when the trial was being planned at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the trial progressed, the trial steering committee, whose members were unaware of the results of the trial comparisons, determined that if 28-day mortality was 20%, then the enrollment of at least 2000 patients in the dexamethasone group and 4000 in the usual care group would provide a power of at least 90% at a two-sided P value of 0.01 to detect a clinically relevant proportional reduction of 20% (an absolute difference of 4 percentage points) between the two groups. Consequently, on June 8, 2020, the steering committee closed recruitment to the dexamethasone group, since enrollment had exceeded 2000 patients.

For the primary outcome of 28-day mortality, the hazard ratio from Cox regression was used to estimate the mortality rate ratio. Among the few patients (0.1%) who had not been followed for 28 days by the time of the data cutoff on July 6, 2020, data were censored either on that date or on day 29 if the patient had already been discharged. That is, in the absence of any information to the contrary, these patients were assumed to have survived for 28 days. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were constructed to show cumulative mortality over the 28-day period.

Cox regression was used to analyze the secondary outcome of hospital discharge within 28 days, with censoring of data on day 29 for patients who had died during hospitalization. For the prespecified composite secondary outcome of invasive mechanical ventilation or death within 28 days (among patients who were not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at randomization), the precise date of invasive mechanical ventilation was not available, so a log-binomial regression model was used to estimate the risk ratio. Table 1. Table 1.

Characteristics of the Patients at Baseline, According to Treatment Assignment and Level of Respiratory Support. Through the play of chance in the unstratified randomization, the mean age was 1.1 years older among patients in the dexamethasone group than among those in the usual care group (Table 1). To account for this imbalance in an important prognostic factor, estimates of rate ratios were adjusted for the baseline age in three categories (<70 years, 70 to 79 years, and ≥80 years). This adjustment was not specified in the first version of the statistical analysis plan but was added once the imbalance in age became apparent.

Results without age adjustment (corresponding to the first version of the analysis plan) are provided in the Supplementary Appendix. Prespecified analyses of the primary outcome were performed in five subgroups, as defined by characteristics at randomization. Age, sex, level of respiratory support, days since symptom onset, and predicted 28-day mortality risk. (One further prespecified subgroup analysis regarding race will be conducted once the data collection has been completed.) In prespecified subgroups, we estimated rate ratios (or risk ratios in some analyses) and their confidence intervals using regression models that included an interaction term between the treatment assignment and the subgroup of interest.

Chi-square tests for linear trend across the subgroup-specific log estimates were then performed in accordance with the prespecified plan. All P values are two-sided and are shown without adjustment for multiple testing. All analyses were performed according to the intention-to-treat principle. The full database is held by the trial team, which collected the data from trial sites and performed the analyses at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford..

Trial Population can u buy sustiva over the counter Table 1. Table 1. Characteristics of the can u buy sustiva over the counter Participants in the mRNA-1273 Trial at Enrollment. The 45 enrolled participants received their first vaccination between March 16 and April 14, 2020 (Fig.

S1). Three participants did not receive the second vaccination, including one in the 25-μg group who had urticaria on both legs, with onset 5 days after the first vaccination, and two (one in the 25-μg group and one in the 250-μg group) who missed the second vaccination window owing to isolation for suspected Covid-19 while the test results, ultimately negative, were pending. All continued to attend scheduled trial visits. The demographic characteristics of participants at enrollment are provided in Table 1.

Vaccine Safety No serious adverse events were noted, and no prespecified trial halting rules were met. As noted above, one participant in the 25-μg group was withdrawn because of an unsolicited adverse event, transient urticaria, judged to be related to the first vaccination. Figure 1. Figure 1.

Systemic and Local Adverse Events. The severity of solicited adverse events was graded as mild, moderate, or severe (see Table S1).After the first vaccination, solicited systemic adverse events were reported by 5 participants (33%) in the 25-μg group, 10 (67%) in the 100-μg group, and 8 (53%) in the 250-μg group. All were mild or moderate in severity (Figure 1 and Table S2). Solicited systemic adverse events were more common after the second vaccination and occurred in 7 of 13 participants (54%) in the 25-μg group, all 15 in the 100-μg group, and all 14 in the 250-μg group, with 3 of those participants (21%) reporting one or more severe events.

None of the participants had fever after the first vaccination. After the second vaccination, no participants in the 25-μg group, 6 (40%) in the 100-μg group, and 8 (57%) in the 250-μg group reported fever. One of the events (maximum temperature, 39.6°C) in the 250-μg group was graded severe. (Additional details regarding adverse events for that participant are provided in the Supplementary Appendix.) Local adverse events, when present, were nearly all mild or moderate, and pain at the injection site was common.

Across both vaccinations, solicited systemic and local adverse events that occurred in more than half the participants included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Evaluation of safety clinical laboratory values of grade 2 or higher and unsolicited adverse events revealed no patterns of concern (Supplementary Appendix and Table S3). SARS-CoV-2 Binding Antibody Responses Table 2. Table 2.

Geometric Mean Humoral Immunogenicity Assay Responses to mRNA-1273 in Participants and in Convalescent Serum Specimens. Figure 2. Figure 2. SARS-CoV-2 Antibody and Neutralization Responses.

Shown are geometric mean reciprocal end-point enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) IgG titers to S-2P (Panel A) and receptor-binding domain (Panel B), PsVNA ID50 responses (Panel C), and live virus PRNT80 responses (Panel D). In Panel A and Panel B, boxes and horizontal bars denote interquartile range (IQR) and median area under the curve (AUC), respectively. Whisker endpoints are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR. The convalescent serum panel includes specimens from 41 participants.

Red dots indicate the 3 specimens that were also tested in the PRNT assay. The other 38 specimens were used to calculate summary statistics for the box plot in the convalescent serum panel. In Panel C, boxes and horizontal bars denote IQR and median ID50, respectively. Whisker end points are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR.

In the convalescent serum panel, red dots indicate the 3 specimens that were also tested in the PRNT assay. The other 38 specimens were used to calculate summary statistics for the box plot in the convalescent panel. In Panel D, boxes and horizontal bars denote IQR and median PRNT80, respectively. Whisker end points are equal to the maximum and minimum values below or above the median ±1.5 times the IQR.

The three convalescent serum specimens were also tested in ELISA and PsVNA assays. Because of the time-intensive nature of the PRNT assay, for this preliminary report, PRNT results were available only for the 25-μg and 100-μg dose groups.Binding antibody IgG geometric mean titers (GMTs) to S-2P increased rapidly after the first vaccination, with seroconversion in all participants by day 15 (Table 2 and Figure 2A). Dose-dependent responses to the first and second vaccinations were evident. Receptor-binding domain–specific antibody responses were similar in pattern and magnitude (Figure 2B).

For both assays, the median magnitude of antibody responses after the first vaccination in the 100-μg and 250-μg dose groups was similar to the median magnitude in convalescent serum specimens, and in all dose groups the median magnitude after the second vaccination was in the upper quartile of values in the convalescent serum specimens. The S-2P ELISA GMTs at day 57 (299,751 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 206,071 to 436,020] in the 25-μg group, 782,719 [95% CI, 619,310 to 989,244] in the 100-μg group, and 1,192,154 [95% CI, 924,878 to 1,536,669] in the 250-μg group) exceeded that in the convalescent serum specimens (142,140 [95% CI, 81,543 to 247,768]). SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Responses No participant had detectable PsVNA responses before vaccination. After the first vaccination, PsVNA responses were detected in less than half the participants, and a dose effect was seen (50% inhibitory dilution [ID50].

Figure 2C, Fig. S8, and Table 2. 80% inhibitory dilution [ID80]. Fig.

S2 and Table S6). However, after the second vaccination, PsVNA responses were identified in serum samples from all participants. The lowest responses were in the 25-μg dose group, with a geometric mean ID50 of 112.3 (95% CI, 71.2 to 177.1) at day 43. The higher responses in the 100-μg and 250-μg groups were similar in magnitude (geometric mean ID50, 343.8 [95% CI, 261.2 to 452.7] and 332.2 [95% CI, 266.3 to 414.5], respectively, at day 43).

These responses were similar to values in the upper half of the distribution of values for convalescent serum specimens. Before vaccination, no participant had detectable 80% live-virus neutralization at the highest serum concentration tested (1:8 dilution) in the PRNT assay. At day 43, wild-type virus–neutralizing activity capable of reducing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity by 80% or more (PRNT80) was detected in all participants, with geometric mean PRNT80 responses of 339.7 (95% CI, 184.0 to 627.1) in the 25-μg group and 654.3 (95% CI, 460.1 to 930.5) in the 100-μg group (Figure 2D). Neutralizing PRNT80 average responses were generally at or above the values of the three convalescent serum specimens tested in this assay.

Good agreement was noted within and between the values from binding assays for S-2P and receptor-binding domain and neutralizing activity measured by PsVNA and PRNT (Figs. S3 through S7), which provides orthogonal support for each assay in characterizing the humoral response induced by mRNA-1273. SARS-CoV-2 T-Cell Responses The 25-μg and 100-μg doses elicited CD4 T-cell responses (Figs. S9 and S10) that on stimulation by S-specific peptide pools were strongly biased toward expression of Th1 cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α >.

Interleukin 2 >. Interferon γ), with minimal type 2 helper T-cell (Th2) cytokine expression (interleukin 4 and interleukin 13). CD8 T-cell responses to S-2P were detected at low levels after the second vaccination in the 100-μg dose group (Fig. S11).Patients Figure 1.

Figure 1. Enrollment and Randomization. Of the 1107 patients who were assessed for eligibility, 1063 underwent randomization. 541 were assigned to the remdesivir group and 522 to the placebo group (Figure 1).

Of those assigned to receive remdesivir, 531 patients (98.2%) received the treatment as assigned. Forty-nine patients had remdesivir treatment discontinued before day 10 because of an adverse event or a serious adverse event other than death (36 patients) or because the patient withdrew consent (13). Of those assigned to receive placebo, 518 patients (99.2%) received placebo as assigned. Fifty-three patients discontinued placebo before day 10 because of an adverse event or a serious adverse event other than death (36 patients), because the patient withdrew consent (15), or because the patient was found to be ineligible for trial enrollment (2).

As of April 28, 2020, a total of 391 patients in the remdesivir group and 340 in the placebo group had completed the trial through day 29, recovered, or died. Eight patients who received remdesivir and 9 who received placebo terminated their participation in the trial before day 29. There were 132 patients in the remdesivir group and 169 in the placebo group who had not recovered and had not completed the day 29 follow-up visit. The analysis population included 1059 patients for whom we have at least some postbaseline data available (538 in the remdesivir group and 521 in the placebo group).

Four of the 1063 patients were not included in the primary analysis because no postbaseline data were available at the time of the database freeze. Table 1. Table 1. Demographic and Clinical Characteristics at Baseline.

The mean age of patients was 58.9 years, and 64.3% were male (Table 1). On the basis of the evolving epidemiology of Covid-19 during the trial, 79.8% of patients were enrolled at sites in North America, 15.3% in Europe, and 4.9% in Asia (Table S1). Overall, 53.2% of the patients were white, 20.6% were black, 12.6% were Asian, and 13.6% were designated as other or not reported. 249 (23.4%) were Hispanic or Latino.

Most patients had either one (27.0%) or two or more (52.1%) of the prespecified coexisting conditions at enrollment, most commonly hypertension (49.6%), obesity (37.0%), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (29.7%). The median number of days between symptom onset and randomization was 9 (interquartile range, 6 to 12). Nine hundred forty-three (88.7%) patients had severe disease at enrollment as defined in the Supplementary Appendix. 272 (25.6%) patients met category 7 criteria on the ordinal scale, 197 (18.5%) category 6, 421 (39.6%) category 5, and 127 (11.9%) category 4.

There were 46 (4.3%) patients who had missing ordinal scale data at enrollment. No substantial imbalances in baseline characteristics were observed between the remdesivir group and the placebo group. Primary Outcome Figure 2. Figure 2.

Kaplan–Meier Estimates of Cumulative Recoveries. Cumulative recovery estimates are shown in the overall population (Panel A), in patients with a baseline score of 4 on the ordinal scale (not receiving oxygen. Panel B), in those with a baseline score of 5 (receiving oxygen. Panel C), in those with a baseline score of 6 (receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive mechanical ventilation.

Panel D), and in those with a baseline score of 7 (receiving mechanical ventilation or ECMO. Panel E). Table 2. Table 2.

Outcomes Overall and According to Score on the Ordinal Scale in the Intention-to-Treat Population. Figure 3. Figure 3. Time to Recovery According to Subgroup.

The widths of the confidence intervals have not been adjusted for multiplicity and therefore cannot be used to infer treatment effects. Race and ethnic group were reported by the patients. Patients in the remdesivir group had a shorter time to recovery than patients in the placebo group (median, 11 days, as compared with 15 days. Rate ratio for recovery, 1.32.

95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.55. P<0.001. 1059 patients (Figure 2 and Table 2). Among patients with a baseline ordinal score of 5 (421 patients), the rate ratio for recovery was 1.47 (95% CI, 1.17 to 1.84).

Among patients with a baseline score of 4 (127 patients) and those with a baseline score of 6 (197 patients), the rate ratio estimates for recovery were 1.38 (95% CI, 0.94 to 2.03) and 1.20 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.81), respectively. For those receiving mechanical ventilation or ECMO at enrollment (baseline ordinal scores of 7. 272 patients), the rate ratio for recovery was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.64 to 1.42). A test of interaction of treatment with baseline score on the ordinal scale was not significant.

An analysis adjusting for baseline ordinal score as a stratification variable was conducted to evaluate the overall effect (of the percentage of patients in each ordinal score category at baseline) on the primary outcome. This adjusted analysis produced a similar treatment-effect estimate (rate ratio for recovery, 1.31. 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.54. 1017 patients).

Table S2 in the Supplementary Appendix shows results according to the baseline severity stratum of mild-to-moderate as compared with severe. Patients who underwent randomization during the first 10 days after the onset of symptoms had a rate ratio for recovery of 1.28 (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.57. 664 patients), whereas patients who underwent randomization more than 10 days after the onset of symptoms had a rate ratio for recovery of 1.38 (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.81. 380 patients) (Figure 3).

Key Secondary Outcome The odds of improvement in the ordinal scale score were higher in the remdesivir group, as determined by a proportional odds model at the day 15 visit, than in the placebo group (odds ratio for improvement, 1.50. 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.91. P=0.001. 844 patients) (Table 2 and Fig.

S5). Mortality was numerically lower in the remdesivir group than in the placebo group, but the difference was not significant (hazard ratio for death, 0.70. 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.04. 1059 patients).

The Kaplan–Meier estimates of mortality by 14 days were 7.1% and 11.9% in the remdesivir and placebo groups, respectively (Table 2). The Kaplan–Meier estimates of mortality by 28 days are not reported in this preliminary analysis, given the large number of patients that had yet to complete day 29 visits. An analysis with adjustment for baseline ordinal score as a stratification variable showed a hazard ratio for death of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.50 to 1.10). Safety Outcomes Serious adverse events occurred in 114 patients (21.1%) in the remdesivir group and 141 patients (27.0%) in the placebo group (Table S3).

4 events (2 in each group) were judged by site investigators to be related to remdesivir or placebo. There were 28 serious respiratory failure adverse events in the remdesivir group (5.2% of patients) and 42 in the placebo group (8.0% of patients). Acute respiratory failure, hypotension, viral pneumonia, and acute kidney injury were slightly more common among patients in the placebo group. No deaths were considered to be related to treatment assignment, as judged by the site investigators.

Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 156 patients (28.8%) in the remdesivir group and in 172 in the placebo group (33.0%) (Table S4). The most common adverse events in the remdesivir group were anemia or decreased hemoglobin (43 events [7.9%], as compared with 47 [9.0%] in the placebo group). Acute kidney injury, decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate or creatinine clearance, or increased blood creatinine (40 events [7.4%], as compared with 38 [7.3%]). Pyrexia (27 events [5.0%], as compared with 17 [3.3%]).

Hyperglycemia or increased blood glucose level (22 events [4.1%], as compared with 17 [3.3%]). And increased aminotransferase levels including alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, or both (22 events [4.1%], as compared with 31 [5.9%]). Otherwise, the incidence of adverse events was not found to be significantly different between the remdesivir group and the placebo group.Announced on May 15, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) — a partnership of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the private sector — aims to accelerate control of the Covid-19 pandemic by advancing development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. OWS is providing support to promising candidates and enabling the expeditious, parallel execution of the necessary steps toward approval or authorization of safe products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The partnership grew out of an acknowledged need to fundamentally restructure the way the U.S.

Government typically supports product development and vaccine distribution. The initiative was premised on setting a “stretch goal” — one that initially seemed impossible but that is becoming increasingly achievable.The concept of an integrated structure for Covid-19 countermeasure research and development across the U.S. Government was based on experience with Zika and the Zika Leadership Group led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR). One of us (M.S.) serves as OWS chief advisor.

We are drawing on expertise from the NIH, ASPR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the DOD, including the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. OWS has engaged experts in all critical aspects of medical countermeasure research, development, manufacturing, and distribution to work in close coordination.The initiative set ambitious objectives. To deliver tens of millions of doses of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine — with demonstrated safety and efficacy, and approved or authorized by the FDA for use in the U.S. Population — beginning at the end of 2020 and to have as many as 300 million doses of such vaccines available and deployed by mid-2021.

The pace and scope of such a vaccine effort are unprecedented. The 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic spurred rapid vaccine development, but though preclinical data existed before the outbreak, a period of 12 months was required to progress from phase 1 first-in-human trials to phase 3 efficacy trials. OWS aims to compress this time frame even further. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development began in January, phase 1 clinical studies in March, and the first phase 3 trials in July.

Our objectives are based on advances in vaccine platform technology, improved understanding of safe and efficacious vaccine design, and similarities between the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 disease mechanisms.OWS’s role is to enable, accelerate, harmonize, and advise the companies developing the selected vaccines. The companies will execute the clinical or process development and manufacturing plans, while OWS leverages the full capacity of the U.S. Government to ensure that no technical, logistic, or financial hurdles hinder vaccine development or deployment.OWS selected vaccine candidates on the basis of four criteria. We required candidates to have robust preclinical data or early-stage clinical trial data supporting their potential for clinical safety and efficacy.

Candidates had to have the potential, with our acceleration support, to enter large phase 3 field efficacy trials this summer or fall (July to November 2020) and, assuming continued active transmission of the virus, to deliver efficacy outcomes by the end of 2020 or the first half of 2021. Candidates had to be based on vaccine-platform technologies permitting fast and effective manufacturing, and their developers had to demonstrate the industrial process scalability, yields, and consistency necessary to reliably produce more than 100 million doses by mid-2021. Finally, candidates had to use one of four vaccine-platform technologies that we believe are the most likely to yield a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19. The mRNA platform, the replication-defective live-vector platform, the recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein platform, or the attenuated replicating live-vector platform.OWS’s strategy relies on a few key principles.

First, we sought to build a diverse project portfolio that includes two vaccine candidates based on each of the four platform technologies. Such diversification mitigates the risk of failure due to safety, efficacy, industrial manufacturability, or scheduling factors and may permit selection of the best vaccine platform for each subpopulation at risk for contracting or transmitting Covid-19, including older adults, frontline and essential workers, young adults, and pediatric populations. In addition, advancing eight vaccines in parallel will increase the chances of delivering 300 million doses in the first half of 2021.Second, we must accelerate vaccine program development without compromising safety, efficacy, or product quality. Clinical development, process development, and manufacturing scale-up can be substantially accelerated by running all streams, fully resourced, in parallel.

Doing so requires taking on substantial financial risk, as compared with the conventional sequential development approach. OWS will maximize the size of phase 3 trials (30,000 to 50,000 participants each) and optimize trial-site location by consulting daily epidemiologic and disease-forecasting models to ensure the fastest path to an efficacy readout. Such large trials also increase the safety data set for each candidate vaccine.With heavy up-front investment, companies can conduct clinical operations and site preparation for these phase 3 efficacy trials even as they file their Investigational New Drug application (IND) for their phase 1 studies, thereby ensuring immediate initiation of phase 3 when they get a green light from the FDA. To permit appropriate comparisons among the vaccine candidates and to optimize vaccine utilization after approval by the FDA, the phase 3 trial end points and assay readouts have been harmonized through a collaborative effort involving the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Coronavirus Prevention Network, OWS, and the sponsor companies.Finally, OWS is supporting the companies financially and technically to commence process development and scale up manufacturing while their vaccines are in preclinical or very early clinical stages.

To ensure that industrial processes are set, running, and validated for FDA inspection when phase 3 trials end, OWS is also supporting facility building or refurbishing, equipment fitting, staff hiring and training, raw-material sourcing, technology transfer and validation, bulk product processing into vials, and acquisition of ample vials, syringes, and needles for each vaccine candidate. We aim to have stockpiled, at OWS’s expense, a few tens of millions of vaccine doses that could be swiftly deployed once FDA approval is obtained.This strategy aims to accelerate vaccine development without curtailing the critical steps required by sound science and regulatory standards. The FDA recently reissued guidance and standards that will be used to assess each vaccine for a Biologics License Application (BLA). Alternatively, the agency could decide to issue an Emergency Use Authorization to permit vaccine administration before all BLA procedures are completed.Of the eight vaccines in OWS’s portfolio, six have been announced and partnerships executed with the companies.

Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech (both mRNA), AstraZeneca and Janssen (both replication-defective live-vector), and Novavax and Sanofi/GSK (both recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein). These candidates cover three of the four platform technologies and are currently in clinical trials. The remaining two candidates will enter trials soon.Moderna developed its RNA vaccine in collaboration with the NIAID, began its phase 1 trial in March, recently published encouraging safety and immunogenicity data,1 and entered phase 3 on July 27. Pfizer and BioNTech’s RNA vaccine also produced encouraging phase 1 results2 and started its phase 3 trial on July 27.

The ChAdOx replication-defective live-vector vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is in phase 3 trials in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, and it should enter U.S. Phase 3 trials in August.3 The Janssen Ad26 Covid-19 replication-defective live-vector vaccine has demonstrated excellent protection in nonhuman primate models and began its U.S. Phase 1 trial on July 27. It should be in phase 3 trials in mid-September.

Novavax completed a phase 1 trial of its recombinant-subunit-adjuvanted protein vaccine in Australia and should enter phase 3 trials in the United States by the end of September.4 Sanofi/GSK is completing preclinical development steps and plans to commence a phase 1 trial in early September and to be well into phase 3 by year’s end.5On the process-development front, the RNA vaccines are already being manufactured at scale. The other candidates are well advanced in their scale-up development, and manufacturing sites are being refurbished.While development and manufacturing proceed, the HHS–DOD partnership is laying the groundwork for vaccine distribution, subpopulation prioritization, financing, and logistic support. We are working with bioethicists and experts from the NIH, the CDC, BARDA, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address these critical issues. We will receive recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and we are working to ensure that the most vulnerable and at-risk persons will receive vaccine doses once they are ready.

Prioritization will also depend on the relative performance of each vaccine and its suitability for particular populations. Because some technologies have limited previous data on safety in humans, the long-term safety of these vaccines will be carefully assessed using pharmacovigilance surveillance strategies.No scientific enterprise could guarantee success by January 2021, but the strategic decisions and choices we’ve made, the support the government has provided, and the accomplishments to date make us optimistic that we will succeed in this unprecedented endeavor.Trial Design and Oversight We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate postexposure prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine after exposure to Covid-19.12 We randomly assigned participants in a 1:1 ratio to receive either hydroxychloroquine or placebo. Participants had known exposure (by participant report) to a person with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19, whether as a household contact, a health care worker, or a person with other occupational exposures. Trial enrollment began on March 17, 2020, with an eligibility threshold to enroll within 3 days after exposure.

The objective was to intervene before the median incubation period of 5 to 6 days. Because of limited access to prompt testing, health care workers could initially be enrolled on the basis of presumptive high-risk exposure to patients with pending tests. However, on March 23, eligibility was changed to exposure to a person with a positive polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assay for SARS-CoV-2, with the eligibility window extended to within 4 days after exposure. This trial was approved by the institutional review board at the University of Minnesota and conducted under a Food and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug application.

In Canada, the trial was approved by Health Canada. Ethics approvals were obtained from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Alberta. Participants We included participants who had household or occupational exposure to a person with confirmed Covid-19 at a distance of less than 6 ft for more than 10 minutes while wearing neither a face mask nor an eye shield (high-risk exposure) or while wearing a face mask but no eye shield (moderate-risk exposure). Participants were excluded if they were younger than 18 years of age, were hospitalized, or met other exclusion criteria (see the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org).

Persons with symptoms of Covid-19 or with PCR-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection were excluded from this prevention trial but were separately enrolled in a companion clinical trial to treat early infection. Setting Recruitment was performed primarily with the use of social media outreach as well as traditional media platforms. Participants were enrolled nationwide in the United States and in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta. Participants enrolled themselves through a secure Internet-based survey using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system.13 After participants read the consent form, their comprehension of its contents was assessed.

Participants provided a digitally captured signature to indicate informed consent. We sent follow-up e-mail surveys on days 1, 5, 10, and 14. A survey at 4 to 6 weeks asked about any follow-up testing, illness, or hospitalizations. Participants who did not respond to follow-up surveys received text messages, e-mails, telephone calls, or a combination of these to ascertain their outcomes.

When these methods were unsuccessful, the emergency contact provided by the enrollee was contacted to determine the participant’s illness and vital status. When all communication methods were exhausted, Internet searches for obituaries were performed to ascertain vital status. Interventions Randomization occurred at research pharmacies in Minneapolis and Montreal. The trial statisticians generated a permuted-block randomization sequence using variably sized blocks of 2, 4, or 8, with stratification according to country.

A research pharmacist sequentially assigned participants. The assignments were concealed from investigators and participants. Only pharmacies had access to the randomization sequence. Hydroxychloroquine sulfate or placebo was dispensed and shipped overnight to participants by commercial courier.

The dosing regimen for hydroxychloroquine was 800 mg (4 tablets) once, then 600 mg (3 tablets) 6 to 8 hours later, then 600 mg (3 tablets) daily for 4 more days for a total course of 5 days (19 tablets total). If participants had gastrointestinal upset, they were advised to divide the daily dose into two or three doses. We chose this hydroxychloroquine dosing regimen on the basis of pharmacokinetic simulations to achieve plasma concentrations above the SARS-CoV-2 in vitro half maximal effective concentration for 14 days.14 Placebo folate tablets, which were similar in appearance to the hydroxychloroquine tablets, were prescribed as an identical regimen for the control group. Rising Pharmaceuticals provided a donation of hydroxychloroquine, and some hydroxychloroquine was purchased.

Outcomes The primary outcome was prespecified as symptomatic illness confirmed by a positive molecular assay or, if testing was unavailable, Covid-19–related symptoms. We assumed that health care workers would have access to Covid-19 testing if symptomatic. However, access to testing was limited throughout the trial period. Covid-19–related symptoms were based on U.S.

Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists criteria for confirmed cases (positivity for SARS-Cov-2 on PCR assay), probable cases (the presence of cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, or the presence of two or more symptoms of fever, chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, and new olfactory and taste disorders), and possible cases (the presence of one or more compatible symptoms, which could include diarrhea).15 All the participants had epidemiologic linkage,15 per trial eligibility criteria. Four infectious disease physicians who were unaware of the trial-group assignments reviewed symptomatic participants to generate a consensus with respect to whether their condition met the case definition.15 Secondary outcomes included the incidence of hospitalization for Covid-19 or death, the incidence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, the incidence of Covid-19 symptoms, the incidence of discontinuation of the trial intervention owing to any cause, and the severity of symptoms (if any) at days 5 and 14 according to a visual analogue scale (scores ranged from 0 [no symptoms] to 10 [severe symptoms]). Data on adverse events were also collected with directed questioning for common side effects along with open-ended free text. Outcome data were measured within 14 days after trial enrollment.

Outcome data including PCR testing results, possible Covid-19–related symptoms, adherence to the trial intervention, side effects, and hospitalizations were all collected through participant report. Details of trial conduct are provided in the protocol and statistical analysis plan, available at NEJM.org. Sample Size We anticipated that illness compatible with Covid-19 would develop in 10% of close contacts exposed to Covid-19.9 Using Fisher’s exact method with a 50% relative effect size to reduce new symptomatic infections, a two-sided alpha of 0.05, and 90% power, we estimated that 621 persons would need to be enrolled in each group. With a pragmatic, Internet-based, self-referral recruitment strategy, we planned for a 20% incidence of attrition by increasing the sample size to 750 participants per group.

We specified a priori that participants who were already symptomatic on day 1 before receiving hydroxychloroquine or placebo would be excluded from the prophylaxis trial and would instead be separately enrolled in the companion symptomatic treatment trial. Because the estimates for both incident symptomatic Covid-19 after an exposure and loss to follow-up were relatively unknown in early March 2020,9 the protocol prespecified a sample-size reestimation at the second interim analysis. This reestimation, which used the incidence of new infections in the placebo group and the observed percentage of participants lost to follow-up, was aimed at maintaining the ability to detect an effect size of a 50% relative reduction in new symptomatic infections. Interim Analyses An independent data and safety monitoring board externally reviewed the data after 25% and 50% of the participants had completed 14 days of follow-up.

Stopping guidelines were provided to the data and safety monitoring board with the use of a Lan–DeMets spending function analogue of the O’Brien–Fleming boundaries for the primary outcome. A conditional power analysis was performed at the second and third interim analysis with the option of early stopping for futility. At the second interim analysis on April 22, 2020, the sample size was reduced to 956 participants who could be evaluated with 90% power on the basis of the higher-than-expected event rate of infections in the control group. At the third interim analysis on May 6, the trial was halted on the basis of a conditional power of less than 1%, since it was deemed futile to continue.

Statistical Analysis We assessed the incidence of Covid-19 disease by day 14 with Fisher’s exact test. Secondary outcomes with respect to percentage of patients were also compared with Fisher’s exact test. Among participants in whom incident illness compatible with Covid-19 developed, we summarized the symptom severity score at day 14 with the median and interquartile range and assessed the distributions with a Kruskal–Wallis test. We conducted all analyses with SAS software, version 9.4 (SAS Institute), according to the intention-to-treat principle, with two-sided type I error with an alpha of 0.05.

For participants with missing outcome data, we conducted a sensitivity analysis with their outcomes excluded or included as an event. Subgroups that were specified a priori included type of contact (household vs. Health care), days from exposure to enrollment, age, and sex.Trial Design and Oversight The RECOVERY trial was designed to evaluate the effects of potential treatments in patients hospitalized with Covid-19 at 176 National Health Service organizations in the United Kingdom and was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network. (Details regarding this trial are provided in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.) The trial is being coordinated by the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, the trial sponsor.

Although the randomization of patients to receive dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, or lopinavir–ritonavir has now been stopped, the trial continues randomization to groups receiving azithromycin, tocilizumab, or convalescent plasma. Hospitalized patients were eligible for the trial if they had clinically suspected or laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and no medical history that might, in the opinion of the attending clinician, put patients at substantial risk if they were to participate in the trial. Initially, recruitment was limited to patients who were at least 18 years of age, but the age limit was removed starting on May 9, 2020. Pregnant or breast-feeding women were eligible.

Written informed consent was obtained from all the patients or from a legal representative if they were unable to provide consent. The trial was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Good Clinical Practice guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonisation and was approved by the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Cambridge East Research Ethics Committee. The protocol with its statistical analysis plan is available at NEJM.org and on the trial website at www.recoverytrial.net.

The initial version of the manuscript was drafted by the first and last authors, developed by the writing committee, and approved by all members of the trial steering committee. The funders had no role in the analysis of the data, in the preparation or approval of the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. The first and last members of the writing committee vouch for the completeness and accuracy of the data and for the fidelity of the trial to the protocol and statistical analysis plan. Randomization We collected baseline data using a Web-based case-report form that included demographic data, the level of respiratory support, major coexisting illnesses, suitability of the trial treatment for a particular patient, and treatment availability at the trial site.

Randomization was performed with the use of a Web-based system with concealment of the trial-group assignment. Eligible and consenting patients were assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either the usual standard of care alone or the usual standard of care plus oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days (or until hospital discharge if sooner) or to receive one of the other suitable and available treatments that were being evaluated in the trial. For some patients, dexamethasone was unavailable at the hospital at the time of enrollment or was considered by the managing physician to be either definitely indicated or definitely contraindicated. These patients were excluded from entry in the randomized comparison between dexamethasone and usual care and hence were not included in this report.

The randomly assigned treatment was prescribed by the treating clinician. Patients and local members of the trial staff were aware of the assigned treatments. Procedures A single online follow-up form was to be completed when the patients were discharged or had died or at 28 days after randomization, whichever occurred first. Information was recorded regarding the patients’ adherence to the assigned treatment, receipt of other trial treatments, duration of admission, receipt of respiratory support (with duration and type), receipt of renal support, and vital status (including the cause of death).

In addition, we obtained routine health care and registry data, including information on vital status (with date and cause of death), discharge from the hospital, and respiratory and renal support therapy. Outcome Measures The primary outcome was all-cause mortality within 28 days after randomization. Further analyses were specified at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were the time until discharge from the hospital and, among patients not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at the time of randomization, subsequent receipt of invasive mechanical ventilation (including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) or death.

Other prespecified clinical outcomes included cause-specific mortality, receipt of renal hemodialysis or hemofiltration, major cardiac arrhythmia (recorded in a subgroup), and receipt and duration of ventilation. Statistical Analysis As stated in the protocol, appropriate sample sizes could not be estimated when the trial was being planned at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the trial progressed, the trial steering committee, whose members were unaware of the results of the trial comparisons, determined that if 28-day mortality was 20%, then the enrollment of at least 2000 patients in the dexamethasone group and 4000 in the usual care group would provide a power of at least 90% at a two-sided P value of 0.01 to detect a clinically relevant proportional reduction of 20% (an absolute difference of 4 percentage points) between the two groups. Consequently, on June 8, 2020, the steering committee closed recruitment to the dexamethasone group, since enrollment had exceeded 2000 patients.

For the primary outcome of 28-day mortality, the hazard ratio from Cox regression was used to estimate the mortality rate ratio. Among the few patients (0.1%) who had not been followed for 28 days by the time of the data cutoff on July 6, 2020, data were censored either on that date or on day 29 if the patient had already been discharged. That is, in the absence of any information to the contrary, these patients were assumed to have survived for 28 days. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were constructed to show cumulative mortality over the 28-day period.

Cox regression was used to analyze the secondary outcome of hospital discharge within 28 days, with censoring of data on day 29 for patients who had died during hospitalization. For the prespecified composite secondary outcome of invasive mechanical ventilation or death within 28 days (among patients who were not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at randomization), the precise date of invasive mechanical ventilation was not available, so a log-binomial regression model was used to estimate the risk ratio. Table 1. Table 1.

Characteristics of the Patients at Baseline, According to Treatment Assignment and Level of Respiratory Support. Through the play of chance in the unstratified randomization, the mean age was 1.1 years older among patients in the dexamethasone group than among those in the usual care group (Table 1). To account for this imbalance in an important prognostic factor, estimates of rate ratios were adjusted for the baseline age in three categories (<70 years, 70 to 79 years, and ≥80 years). This adjustment was not specified in the first version of the statistical analysis plan but was added once the imbalance in age became apparent.

Results without age adjustment (corresponding to the first version of the analysis plan) are provided in the Supplementary Appendix. Prespecified analyses of the primary outcome were performed in five subgroups, as defined by characteristics at randomization. Age, sex, level of respiratory support, days since symptom onset, and predicted 28-day mortality risk. (One further prespecified subgroup analysis regarding race will be conducted once the data collection has been completed.) In prespecified subgroups, we estimated rate ratios (or risk ratios in some analyses) and their confidence intervals using regression models that included an interaction term between the treatment assignment and the subgroup of interest.

Chi-square tests for linear trend across the subgroup-specific log estimates were then performed in accordance with the prespecified plan. All P values are two-sided and are shown without adjustment for multiple testing. All analyses were performed according to the intention-to-treat principle. The full database is held by the trial team, which collected the data from trial sites and performed the analyses at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford..

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People in Aboriginal communities across NSW will have access to expanded suicide prevention support thanks to an investment of $7.7 million from the NSW can u buy sustiva over the counter Government.Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the funding would enable 12 community organisations to deliver culturally appropriate suicide prevention activities. €œIn Aboriginal communities, there is a growing body of evidence around the healing power of culture when it comes to mental health issues and suicide prevention,” Mrs Taylor said. €œThis funding will support community-led and culturally appropriate initiatives to tackle these important issues.“These new programs will involve can u buy sustiva over the counter Elders and focus on building identity and connection, as well as helping Aboriginal people access mental health services.” The funding has been allocated to 12 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) which can use the funds flexibly for a combination of grassroots community activities and clinical services. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians living in NSW, compared to 17th for non-Indigenous Australians. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin praised the initiative and echoed the importance of targeted efforts to can u buy sustiva over the counter address the issue within Aboriginal communities.

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If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services. Lifeline 13 11 14Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 ​​​15 full-time equivalent specialist counsellors will be deployed across rural NSW to help prevent suicide, with the first two counsellors starting in the Eurobodalla and Snowy Mountains regions.NSW Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor said the relatively high rates of suicide in rural can u buy sustiva over the counter areas are devastating families and communities, and the $6.75 million investment will add another layer of help.“Many factors can contribute to suicide, from domestic violence, to relationship issues or unemployment, to stress and hardship,” Mrs Taylor said. €œThese specialist mental health counsellors are there on the ground to support people thinking of suicide or impacted by suicide, and I encourage communities across the state to lean on them for support.”Director Mental Health Drug and Alcohol for Southern NSW Local Health District Damien Eggleton said he wants more people to ask for help when they need it. €œOur rural communities have proven beyond a doubt they’re resilient and fearless when faced with adversity, whether that be geographic isolation, can u buy sustiva over the counter searing drought or the impact of the current pandemic – but they don’t need to go it alone,” Mr Eggleton said. €œThe support provided by these counsellors will complement the peer work and drought support provided by our Farm Gate Counsellors and Drought Counsellors.”Rural counsellor Samara Byrne said she wants young people to know there are people you can turn to when feeling overwhelmed with life or feeling like a burden on others.

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A NSW Premier’s Priority, this is a whole-of-government commitment to transforming the way we identify and support anyone impacted by suicide.If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately in a life-threatening situation by calling 000 or seek support though one of these services:Lifeline 13 11 14Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511​Regional and rural patients now have access to 24-hour critical care under a $21.7 million telestroke service being rolled out across NSW.Patients at Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour hospitals are the first to benefit from the NSW Telestroke Service, based at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the revolutionary service will expand can u buy sustiva over the counter to up to 23 sites over the next three years. €œThe NSW Telestroke Service will remove geographical barriers and improve outcomes for thousands of regional and rural stroke patients every year, giving them a much greater chance of surviving and leading a normal life,” Mr Hazzard said. €œPeople in regional and rural areas have a far greater risk of hospitalisation from stroke and this vital service will provide them with immediate, life-saving diagnosis and treatment from the state’s leading clinicians.” In 2018-19, 13,651 people were hospitalised for a stroke in NSW. Of those, 32 per cent were from can u buy sustiva over the counter regional, rural or remote areas.

A successful pilot project in the Hunter New England, Central Coast and Mid North Coast local health districts since 2017 has already helped 1200 patients. The Stroke Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan welcomed the launch of can u buy sustiva over the counter the statewide service, jointly funded by the State and Federal governments. €œWhen a stroke strikes, it kills up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute. This service will have an enormous can u buy sustiva over the counter impact by providing time-critical, best-practice treatment that saves lives and reduces lifelong disability,” Ms McGowan said. Prince of Wales Hospital’s Director of Clinical Neuroscience Professor Ken Butcher said.

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NSW Police is conducting regular compliance checks for people told to go into ‘Home Isolation’ as well as responding to reports from the community in relation to suspected breaches. Over the weekend, NSW Police visited almost can u buy sustiva over the counter 600 homes to check that those that were meant to be self-isolating were doing so. In addition to that, over the same period NSW Police received 374 calls to Crime Stoppers reporting suspected breaches of the health orders, the majority of which were for people suspected of not following self-isolation rules. ​.