New Waivers Regarding Care Issued by Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Following Hurricane Irma

9/25/2017 - By Claudia Reingruber, CPA

The administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised MLN Matters Number: SE17024 to include new waivers regarding care.

CMS has authorized waivers under Section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act in the states and the unincorporated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico for persons who were evacuated, transferred, or otherwise dislocated as a result of the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017.   

These blanket waivers in the impacted areas will prevent gaps in access to care for beneficiaries affected by this emergency. 

Examples of Blanket Waivers Issued by CMS:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) 
    • Waiver of the of the 3-day prior hospital stay for coverage of a SNF inpatient stay provides temporary emergency coverage of SNF services without a qualifying hospital stay.
  • Home Health Agencies (HHA)
    • Waiver provides relief to HHAs on the timeframes related to OASIS Transmission.
  • Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) 
    • Waives the requirements that CAHs limit the number of beds to 25, and the length of stay to 96 hours.
  • Housing Acute Care Patients In Excluded Distinct Part Units 
    • CMS has issued a blanket waiver to IPPS hospitals that permits them (if needed as a result of Hurricane Irma) to house acute care inpatients in excluded distinct part units, providing those beds are appropriate for an acute care inpatient. 

Application for an Individual Waiver:

Note: Providers do not need to apply for an individual waiver if a blanket waiver has been issued.

Instructions for Requesting an Individual Section 1135 Waiver, if there is no blanket waiver, are available.

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