Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued broad waivers to assist in the national COVID-19 response. They impact all provider types and generally remove regulatory burdens that could restrict access to care. For example, the waivers remove bed limits on Critical Access Hospitals and will allow Long Term Hospitals to exclude from the 25 ALOS calculation patients who were admitted or discharged to “meet the demands of the emergency.” Restriction on the separation of patients in excluded units in IPPS hospitals are waived. The requirement for three days of hospitalization to receive skilled nursing coverage is also waived. There are a number of other waivers.
These waivers are very broad. In fact, in the preface CMS refers to the list as “blanket” waivers. And CMS explains that States may request additional 1135 Medicaid and CHIP waivers during this emergency.
We have provided a link to the CMS COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet.
The Husch Blackwell Healthcare team will continue to update this site as more information becomes available.
March 16, 2020: COVID-19: CMS Waiver Information for LTCHs and IRFs