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COVID-19 Regulatory Resources

  • CMS COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (Posted 6/11/21)
    The Administration is taking aggressive actions and exercising regulatory flexibilities to help healthcare providers contain the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). CMS is empowered to take proactive steps through 1135 waivers as well as, where applicable, authority granted under section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and rapidly expand the Administration’s aggressive efforts against COVID-19. As a result, the following blanket waivers are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration.
  • CMS HCBS Fraud Oversight Letter (Posted 7/21/21)
    Letter from the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to CMS: After decades of funding rebalancing, there are still no generally accepted quality measures for HCBS. It remains impossible to compare states’ Medicaid HCBS along quality measures in a scorecard, such as CMS compiles for other Medicaid elements. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) noted its programmatic oversight work “consistently demonstrates that patients and programs may be vulnerable to fraud and abuse in home and community-based settings. Moreover, home-based services may not meet quality of care requirements.” Effective solutions to improve quality of care and prevent fraud in Medicaid HCBS are imperative to ensure that older Americans can age at home.
  • CMS Letter SMD# 21-003 v1 (Posted 6/3/21)
    The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance to states on the implementation of section 9817 of the ARP, as well as to describe opportunities for states to strengthen the HCBS system in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), increase access to HCBS for Medicaid beneficiaries, adequately protect the HCBS workforce, safeguard financial stability for HCBS providers, and accelerate long-term services and supports (LTSS) reform under section 9817 of the ARP.
  • CMS Memo QSO-21-17-NH v1 (Posted 6/3/21)
    CMS continues to review the need for existing waivers issued in response to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Over the course of the PHE, nursing homes have developed policies or other practices that we believe mitigates the need for certain waivers. Therefore, CMS is announcing it is ending: *The emergency blanket waivers related to notification of Resident Room or roommate changes, and Transfer and Discharge notification requirements; *The emergency blanket waiver for certain care planning requirements for residents transferred or discharged for cohorting purposes. *The emergency blanket waiver of the timeframe requirements for completing and transmitting resident assessment information (Minimum Data Set(MDS). • CMS is providing clarification and recommendations for Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEPs)
  • CONNECT for Health Act of 2021 Summary v1
    The CONNECT for Health Act of 2021 promotes higher quality of care, increased access to care, and reduced spending in Medicare through the expansion of telehealth services.
  • Focused Infection Control Toolkit v1 (Released 6/23/20)
    On Friday, March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency which triggered the Secretary’s ability to authorize waivers or modifications of certain requirements pursuant to section 1135 of the Social Security Act (the Act). Under section 1135(b)(5) of the Act, CMS is prioritizing surveys, including infection control surveys for nursing homes. This toolkit includes the survey preparation checklist, entrance conference guide and several policies related to containing the spread of COVID-19 to assist you in preparing for a focused survey.
  • Focused Infection Control Toolkit - Spanish v1 (Released 6/23/20)
    On Friday, March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency which triggered the Secretary’s ability to authorize waivers or modifications of certain requirements pursuant to section 1135 of the Social Security Act (the Act). Under section 1135(b)(5) of the Act, CMS is prioritizing surveys, including infection control surveys for nursing homes. This toolkit includes the survey preparation checklist, entrance conference guide and several policies related to containing the spread of COVID-19 to assist you in preparing for a focused survey. (Spanish version)
  • Liability Sign On Letter v1 (Posted 6/15/20)
    Letter requesting that Congress act to provide reasonable liability protections during this health crisis by expanding the protections in section 3215 of the CARES Act to all health care professionals and front-line facilities.
  • Medical Record Maintenance & Access Requirements v1 (Posted 6/3/21)
    This fact sheet educates Medicare physicians, nonphysician practitioners, hospitals, other providers, and suppliers on the updated regulations at 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 424.516(f). It gives information on updated documentation maintenance and access requirements for billing services to Medicare patients. It also tells you how long to keep the documentation and who is responsible for providing access.
  • Notification Toolkit v2
    CMS has new guidance requiring nursing homes to report COVID-19 related data to the CDC/NHSN database weekly which is in addition to any state and local reporting currently being done. This requirement is effective May 17, 2020, with public reporting of facility numbers of COVID cases, both resident and staff. Effective May 8, 2020, additional reporting requires that with any new case of COVID-19 or when 3 or more staff or residents are symptomatic within a 72-hour period, residents, representatives, and families are notified by 5:00 pm the following day. This is in addition to the requirement of notifying representatives/families of a resident’s change of condition. The notification process must be done in a way that protects the privacy of our staff and residents (HIPAA). This toolkit provides several sample documents for your consideration. There are two “initial” letter samples that may be used to notify residents, families, and staff of the new CMS requirements. The third sample letter is considered an “update letter” and may be used to post the required data on your website, send via email or USPS, depending on your individual situation.
  • Notification Toolkit - Spanish v2
    CMS has new guidance requiring nursing homes to report COVID-19 related data to the CDC/NHSN database weekly which is in addition to any state and local reporting currently being done. This requirement is effective May 17, 2020, with public reporting of facility numbers of COVID cases, both resident and staff. Effective May 8, 2020, additional reporting requires that with any new case of COVID-19 or when 3 or more staff or residents are symptomatic within a 72-hour period, residents, representatives, and families are notified by 5:00 pm the following day. This is in addition to the requirement of notifying representatives/families of a resident’s change of condition. The notification process must be done in a way that protects the privacy of our staff and residents (HIPAA). This toolkit provides several sample documents for your consideration. There are two “initial” letter samples that may be used to notify residents, families, and staff of the new CMS requirements. The third sample letter is considered an “update letter” and may be used to post the required data on your website, send via email or USPS, depending on your individual situation. (Spanish version)
  • OLR Bill Analysis sSB 975: STRENGTHENING THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR LONGTERM CARE RESIDENTS CARE FACILITY RESIDENTS (Posted 6/20/21)
    This bill makes various changes affecting long-term care facility residents.
  • OSHA Interim Enforcement Response Plan COVID 19 v1 (Posted 6/24/21)
    OSHA's enforcement of workplace safety and health requirements will reduce the risk of workplace transmissions of SARS-CoV-2. The agency's updated Response Plan prioritizes enforcement and focuses on employers that are not making good faith efforts to protect workers.
  • Pioneer Institute Recommendations for an improved COVID Dashboard in Massachusetts (Posted 6/11/21)
    the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) make available a significant quantity of data on the Mass.gov page titled “COVID-19 Response Reporting.” EOHHS and DPH, to their credit, have made improvements to that reporting over time, including substantial recent changes that Pioneer Institute had long advocated. However, there are certain reporting flaws and omissions that should still be remedied.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility 3-Day Rule Waiver Guidance (Posted 6/22/21)
    The purpose of this document is to describe the policies for waivers of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) 3-Day Rule under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program). Specifically, this document provides background on the SNF 3-Day Rule, waiver-eligibility criteria for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and SNF affiliates, as well as information on how to apply for a SNF 3-Day Rule Waiver.
  • State Veterans Home COVID-19 Event Form FAQ v1 (Posted 6/24/21)
    State Veterans Home COVID-19 Event Form Frequently Asked Questions from NHSN