Due to the spread of COVID-19, President Trump last Friday declared a national emergency, which expands the Administration’s ability to implement regulatory flexibilities through “blanket waivers” of generally applicable Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP program requirements. When a blanket waiver is issued, it applies broadly and clinicians do not need to apply for individual waiver protection. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), together with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has already acted under this authority to implement a number of waivers including:
· Allowing licensed providers to render services outside their state of enrollment for purposes of billing Medicare and Medicaid.
· Temporarily suspending certain enrollment requirements under Medicare, postponing revalidation actions, and expediting pending or new applications.
· Removing the requirement for a 3-day prior hospitalization prior to coverage of a SNF stay and adding flexibility for obtaining renewed coverage for certain beneficiaries who have recently exhausted SNF benefits.
· Extending certain timelines for filing Medicare Parts B, C, and D appeals.
These waivers generally have retroactive effect as of March 1. Notably, no waiver around Medicare telehealth coverage and billing has yet been issued. MGMA is closely monitoring this situation and will continue to make updates to our COVID-19 Action Center as they become available. We encourage you to bookmark the COVID-19 Action Center today and check back routinely, as we will be updating it consistently throughout the coming days and weeks.