As we previously predicted, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has continued to issue expansions of the Blanket Waivers applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS states the reason for issuing these waivers is to give heath care providers the flexibility they require to fulfill their patient care obligations during the pandemic.
The PDF version of the compiled CMS COVID-19 Waivers includes an expansive list of activities that can be engaged in for certain purposes within the period of the COVID-19 emergency. The most recent (May 11, 2020) update added a few more waivers to the list including:
- Permitting hospitals to expand long-term care beds and services they provide through use of additional “swing beds.”
- Making it easier for a sole community to maintain their status by waiving the distance, market share, and bed requirements for hospitals that wish to meet the status of sole community hospitals.
- Changes to some of the life safety code requirements applicable to long-term care facilities, hospitals, and certain other facilities.
- Changes to requirements applicable to small rural hospitals.
Ruder Ware’s Health Care Focus Team will continue to cover the various Blanket Waivers and other actions of CMS through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.