The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Saturday approved blanket waivers of certain requirements for all hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice and end-stage renal disease facilities in areas of New York and New Jersey affected by superstorm Sandy, according to a news report issued by AHANews.com. Individual facilities need not apply to CMS to take advantage of these waivers.
Among other actions, the blanket waivers authorize the states to process requests for certified bed increases by hospitals or nursing homes, waive the three-day prior hospitalization requirement for Medicare coverage of a skilled nursing facility stay, certain data transmission requirements for SNFs and home health agencies, and certain aide supervision requirements for home health and hospice providers.
In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius temporarily waived or modified other Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program requirements, which allows states or individual health care providers to request a waiver of those requirements by e-mailing their CMS Regional Office or State Survey Agency. The request must describe the provider and its justification for a waiver. HHS issued a similar, non-blanket waiver for New York last week.