Do you have patients who were impacted by either Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma? Or were you directly impacted as a provider?
If so, CMS has issued several waivers intended to prevent gaps in access to care for beneficiaries impacted by the storms. Providers do not need to apply for an individual waiver if a blanket waiver has been issued. Specific waivers granted are retroactive to beginning of the emergency, if warranted. Here is how CMS announced the waivers that apply to both hurricanes.
As a result of Hurricanes Irma (and Harvey), CMS has determined it is appropriate to issue a blanket waiver to suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) where DMEPOS is lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable.
Under this waiver, the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of these hurricanes.
As a result of Hurricane Irma (and Harvey), CMS is temporarily extending the 10 business day deadline to provide notification of any subcontracting arrangements. During the temporary extension period, affected contract suppliers will have 30 business days to provide notice to the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor of any subcontracting arrangements. CMS will notify DMEPOS Competitive Bidding contract suppliers via e-mail when this temporary extension expires. All other competitive bidding program requirements remain in force. Note: CMS will provide notice of any changes to reporting timeframes for future events.
CMS has declared these waivers to help states and U.S. territories maintain access to care for those with Medicare and Medicaid by supporting the ability of participating hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide timely care to as many people impacted by the storm as possible.
The President declared a state of emergency for Florida and the HHS Secretary declared a Public Health Emergency for Florida, which allows for CMS programmatic waivers based on Section 1135 of the Social Security Act, on September 7, 2017. A previous state of emergency had been declared for Texas with Hurricane Harvey. Other states such as Alabama and Louisiana plus selected U.S. Territories have been declared disaster areas also. Check with your state homecare association for guidance on the latest waivers that may be applicable.
Storms such as Harvey and Irma serve as powerful reminders that OxyGo® POCs are great products to have in your inventory. They don’t need outside power (can be charged in a car and have their own batteries) and they are easy to grab and go in an evacuation.
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