COVID-19 Update: The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Waives Hospice Rules
The COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, is already spread in diverse states of the United States. Considering the current situation, the U.S. CMS has recently issued an 1135 waiver that eventually relaxes some of the rules and regulations for hospice and home health care.
Since the White House declared an emergency for COVID-19 pandemic, it has granted the authority to HHS (Health & Human Services) for a waiver under the 1135 section of the Social Security Act.
The waiver impacts the hospice and suspends any kinds of non-emergency survey inspections along with rules that allow the replacement of damaged medical equipment. Also, the waiver affects the inspection regarding the lost medical equipment during the influence of coronavirus in the states.
According to the officials of CMS, “Our health care system is equipped to respond effectively to every case that arises in the future and there’s no delay in the measures during an emergency”- says Seema Verma- Administrator, CMS.
“The temporary waivers for the providers and clinicians across the United States are reserved for the rarest situations and the health care system of the country needs to be at maximum flexibility during this crisis” –she adds.
According to the officials, the waiver allows the prolonged use of telemedicine that again limits a close contact between the service providers and the patients that may risk the spread of the virus. There’s also a provision to further expand telehealth in the future.
Moreover, the NHPCO (National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization) earlier sent a request to the White House regarding the declaration of emergency for allowing the 1135 waivers. Also, they made a similar request for a declaration of emergency to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS).
The administration is currently working with NHPCO on the areas where they can extend the flexibility to improve the safety and adequate health of the service providers and patients.
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