Please check back regularly for updates for
new developments, events, and resources

Telehealth Now Available by CMS for Medicare Patients

  • Provide treatment to your patients outside of offices and/or healthcare facilities and be reimbursed
  • Use publicly available technology such as Facetime or Skype with the new HIPPA governance waiving the need for HIPAA secured technology
  • New CPT and HCPCS codes have been established for telehealth services
  • More information on the telehealth expansion for Medicare can be found here.
  • Click on the link for the American Rheumatology Network telehealth summary and codes

COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance — New International Case Reporting Registry

  • AWIR is an official supporter of the International Registry
  • Enter data on your patients infected with COVID-19
  • Help answer urgent questions about treatment options and infection risks amongst your patients
  • De-identified registry data will be disseminated for analysis
  • Click on the link to earn more about the registry and how to use it

CMS 1135 Waivers to Ease Administrative Burden on Providers for Medicaid Patients

  • Treat Medicaid patients with greater freedom and less paperwork
  • For example, states can decide to reimburse for telehealth services, remove the need for FFS prior authorizations, reimburse physicians for services provided out of state and more 
  • Options vary from state to state. More information on the Section 1135 Waivers can be found here

Global Healthy Living Foundation and Creaky Joints Launch COVID-19 Patient and Family Support Program

  • Made for patients and caregivers, this program allows patients to get answers on many questions about the exposure and prevention from COVID-19 from healthcare professionals, receive emails on the latest news and stories on how other patients are coping
  • Click on the link to sign up for the program

Trials Underway to Evaluate Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19

  • On March 16, 2020 the combined forces of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Moderna, already working on a vaccine for MERS, announced new Phase I studies for a vaccine targeting COVID-19 with mRNA-1273
  • Almost simultaneously several additional treatment options went into clinical trials globally; including Phase 2/3 studies using tocilizumab and sarilumab, by Genentech and Regeneron/Sanofi, respectively, to treat cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and pneumonia in COVID-19 patients
  • Genentech launched a website to provide U.S. Healthcare Providers (HCPs) with up-to-date information about Actemra (tocilizumab) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which can be found here

“We have received a surge of questions from HCPs across the globe regarding the use of Actemra for COVID-19, therefore the intent of this website is to make such information available to enable physicians to make informed individual treatment decisions”

– Genentech

  • The first successful clinical trial with positive interim results on a treatment for COVID-19 were made public April 27th with interim results demonstrating that patients treated with remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those on placebo (P<0.001)
  • The remdesivir trial, the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institute of Health
  • Other antivirals, alone or in combination with other drugs, are also under investigation
  • A full listing on of all trials for COVID-19 can be found here

Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Shortages and Usage for COVID-19 Treatment

  • There have been reports of shortages and lack of availability of both drugs for lupus and RA patients. Consider dose adjustments as appropriate for your patients
  • Trials are underway to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in clinical trials
  • Click on the link to learn more from the FDA website
  • Click on the link for guidance from the CDC on therapeutic options

AWIR Letter to Insurers, Vendors, and Manufacturers Advocating for Provider Relief

Use this letter to advocate for yourself and the medical community to allow everyone to focus on patient care and remove administrative hurdles. The letter can be viewed, edited, and downloaded by clicking on the link.