Here is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions taken in response to the COVID-19 virus, as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website. CMS updates these resources on an ongoing basis throughout the day; the information below is current as of April 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM.
Trump Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes, State and Local Governments
Recently, CMS, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued critical recommendations to state and local governments, as well as nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes. The recommendations build on and strengthen recent guidance from CMS and CDC related to effective implementation of longstanding infection control procedures.
CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
CMS approved its 44th state Medicaid waiver delivering urgent regulatory relief to ensure States can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens. In light of the urgent and evolving needs of states during the COVID-19 crisis, CMS developed a toolkit to facilitate expedited application and approval of State waivers requests in record time. The waivers support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. Recently approved states include Alaska, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
CMS also approved one more state waiver amendment requests for California to give emergency flexibilities in their programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities, bringing the total to 17 approvals across 15 states.
1915(c) Appendix K Waivers
Medicare and Telehealth Services Blog
The Social Security Administration (SSA) featured a guest blog by CMS Administrator, Seema Verma with important information on Medicare coverage and recently expanded coverage of telehealth services. CMS actions protect beneficiaries while maintaining trusted access to care in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities for Rural Health Care Substance Use Disorder
CMS released an Informational Bulletin to states that explains how states can use telehealth delivery methods to expand access to Medicaid services, including substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and services. The guidance outlines how telehealth may be used to service rural communities, high-risk individuals, school-based health centers and SUD programs. It provides information about Medicaid coverage and reimbursement of SUD treatment services and supports CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus as well as the opioid epidemic.
Updates Available to Medicaid and CHIP Frequently Asked Questions
CMS issued additional Frequently Asked Questions for State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies to aid states in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics include: emergency preparedness and response; flexibilities around eligibility and enrollment; benefits, premiums and cost sharing; financing; managed care; fair hearings; health information exchanges; and COVID-19 T-MSIS coding guidance.