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CMS Issues Multiple New Policy Waivers

CMS Issues Multiple New Policy Waivers April 10, 2020

Today, CMS issued a multitude of additional waivers and rule suspensions that affect clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  The waivers are retroactive to March 1, 2020 and waive a significant number of conditions of participation (COPs) and other regulatory requirements.

Some major highlights include:

Category Description
Orders Verbal orders may be used for drugs and biologicals Authentication requirements for orders are waived Pre-printed orders, standing orders and protocols will be allowed
Medical Records The requirement to complete records within 30 days of discharge is waived
Medical Staff Physicians with expiring privileges will be allowed to continue practice New physicians may practice before undergoing full medical staff/governing body review
Discharge Planning Hospitals must ensure a patient is discharged to an appropriate setting however, a number of the detailed documentation requirements have been waived
Anesthesia Services CRNA services may be rendered without a supervising anesthesiologist unless otherwise required by the hospital and/or state law
Utilization Review (UR) The requirement to perform UR review to evaluate medical necessity of an admission or length of stay is waived unless otherwise required by state law

The 29 page fact sheet details numerous other changes related to staffing, documentation and service locations which should be reviewed carefully.  You can access the release at:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/summary-covid-19-emergency-declaration-waivers.pdf We recommend referring to the CMS and other regulatory sites frequently as changes and updates are occurring rapidly.  CMS has a dedicated page on their website for all emergency updates here:  https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page

HBE is available to assist with remote outsource coding, training of your providers and staff, revenue cycle oversight as well as policy revisions, auditing and other compliance needs you may have.  We will continue to monitor these important developments.

DISCLAIMER:  This newsletter contains only summary information and highlights; it should be read in conjunction with the full article or document provided as a link.  Any advice or recommendations given are general and specific questions should be directed to professional counsel.

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