CMS ISSUES BLANKET EMERGENCY COVID-19 WAIVERS FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued blanket emergency COVID-19 waivers designed to expand Medicare beneficiaries’ access to telehealth services, to make it easier for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to get tested for COVID-19, to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to handle COVID-19 patients through temporary expansion sites, and to expand the health care workforce. The waivers are automatic, meaning that health care providers need not apply to receive the waivers, and they are effective retrospectively from March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration. 

In a press release announcing the waivers, CMS stated that it was “taking action to ensure states and localities have the flexibilities they need to ramp up diagnostic testing and access to medical care, key precursors to ensuring a phased, save and gradual reopening of America.” Some of the key actions are highlighted below. 

Telehealth:

 

 

 

 

 

Increased Hospital Capacity: 

Expanded Testing for COVID-19: 

Expanded Provider Enrollment: 

CMS’s press release is linked here and the full list of COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers is linked here. Whatley Kallas, LLP’s earlier article on CMS’s previously issued COVID-19 waivers is linked here.