Given the current situation CMS has been rapidly announcing actions in response to the COVID-19 virus. Below is a summary of the most recent CMS updates.
State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments
As of April 7th, CMS has issued 49 emergency waivers and 3 Medicaid Disaster Amendments. These approvals have been expediated and granted in record time to ensure that States can effectively care for and serve their most vulnerable citizens during this crisis.
CMS has provided clinicians with a summary of COVID-19 related actions. The document outlines information on Accelerated and Advanced Payments, Testing and Claims Reporting for COVID-19, Medicare Telehealth Visits, Virtual Check-ins, E-visits, Expanded Options for Telehealth Services, Workforce Flexibilities, CMS Quality Payment Program, and Emergency Waivers.
Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services and Treatment Recommendations
CMS has made updated recommendations to postpone non-essential surgeries and procedures in order to limit exposure of patients and staff to the virus that causes COVID-19. CMS has developed a tiered framework to assess the risk and benefit of any medical treatment or service.
Key considerations for determination include the following:
- Current and projected COVID-19 cases in the community and region
- Ability to implement telehealth, virtual check-ins, and/or remote monitoring
- Supply of personal protective equipment available at the practice location and in the region
- Staffing availability
- Medical office/ambulatory service location capacity
- Testing capability in the local community
- Health and age of each individual patient and their risk for severe disease
- Urgency of the treatment or service