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Apr 07, 2020 

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 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 7, 2020 at 4:30 PM.

CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS continues to deliver urgent regulatory relief to ensure States can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. For the first time, CMS has approved Medicaid Disaster Amendments that bring disaster relief to Arizona, Alabama, and Minnesota to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19 through a wide variety of state plan flexibilities. CMS also authorized amendments to ensure emergency flexibilities in programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities, including most recently in Arizona, North Carolina, and South Dakota. These approved flexibilities support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.

All told, CMS has approved 49 emergency waivers, which now includes Michigan, Maine, Nevada, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 21 State Amendments, and 3 Medicaid Disaster Amendments in record time. States are using a toolkit CMS developed to expedite the application and approval of Medicaid state waivers and State Plan Amendments.

Medicaid State Plan Amendments

Section 1135 Waivers

1915(c) Appendix K Waivers

Dear Clinician Letter

CMS posted a letter to clinicians that outlines a summary of actions CMS has taken to ensure clinicians have maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care during the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. The summary includes information about telehealth and virtual visits, accelerated and advanced payments, and recent waiver information.


Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services and Treatment Recommendations

CMS recently updated recommendations to postpone non-essential surgeries and other procedures to conserve critical healthcare resources and limit exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19. Developed in collaboration with medical societies and associations, the recommendations outline a tiered approach for state and local officials, clinicians, and delivery systems to consider to prioritize services and care to those who require emergent or urgent attention to save a life, manage severe disease, or avoid further harms from an underlying condition.


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