CMS Provides Additional Flexibility for Ambulances and Dialysis Clinics in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued several waivers and guidance documents amid the coronavirus outbreak that are intended to improve the ability of the U.S. health care system to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Among these are additional flexibilities for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and dialysis providers, which allow dialysis facilities to allocate special-purpose facilities for patients with COVID-19 along with allowing patients to receive dialysis in nursing homes.

CMS is also allowing ambulances to transport patients to a wider range of locations when other modes of transportation are not appropriate. Examples of allowable destinations include “federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), physician’s offices, urgent care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), any other location furnishing dialysis services outside of the ESRD facility, and the beneficiary’s home.” CMS has also expanded Medicare coverage of respiratory equipment during the public health emergency. Specifically, Medicare will cover of respiratory devices and equipment if they are medically necessary.

Continue reading about the waivers and flexibilities offered by CMS in response to COVID-19.

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