Increasing hospital capacity
Normally, hospitals are required to administer services in their own buildings. CMS is now allowing hospitals to provide services in additional locations, especially for patients requiring ventilators or intensive care. This is meant to support the temporary sites that are being built to ensure hospital systems don’t exceed capacity. Additionally, medicare coverage will pay for lab techs to travel to a patient’s home to collect samples for COVID-19 testing.
Doctor-owned practices will also be allowed to increase their number of beds without the risk of sanctions.
Maintaining and Expanding the Healthcare Workforce
New waivers will help hospitals provide daily meals, laundry service, personal care, and child care services to physicians and other staff, easing their burdens in the high-stress environment.
To increase the number of care-givers, medical residents will have expanded privileges under the discretion of their teaching physician to provide services. Additionally, nurses will no longer be required to make an onsite visit every two weeks for hospice so that they are available at the practice.
New policies will also make it easier for providers to enroll in Medicare, making it easier for more hospitals to serve program beneficiaries.
Expanded Medicare Coverage
Like the telehealth medicare expansion last week, the CMS has ensured that medicare will cover respiratory devices and non-invasive ventilators, multi-function ventilators, assisting devices, positive airway pressure devices, and any device deemed necessary by hospital clinicians.
We’ll have more information as it develops. Read the full CMS release here.