In the Covid-19 Task Force press briefing today, CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, provided the following update calling for Hospitals to engage with their local ASCs to utilize the excess capacity that exists in their surgical centers.
CMS is waiving a wide and unprecedented range of regulatory requirements by way of waivers and National Medical is here to help you navigate this opportunity.
Ms. Verma announced the CMS “Hospitals Without Walls” initiative-
Key components of this initiative includes:
• Allowing hospital systems to create new treatment sites outside of their facility to expand capacity and to be able to
safely separate patients infected with the coronavirus and those that are not.
• Waivers are empowering local communities to work in tandem with FEMA to tap into the capacity that already exists in
Seema Verma stated “There are surgery centers today that are delaying elective surgeries and they may have excess capacity that can be devoted to hospital-like care.” Ms. Verma goes on to explain that this initiative and the waivers associated took only two weeks for the agency to approve and is aligned with the suggested ASC surge capacity support that National Medical provided to White House staff and CMS directly.
CMS has since released additional information on this initiative and includes additional information on these waivers including stating that “Ambulatory surgery centers can contract with local healthcare systems to provide hospital services, or they can enroll and bill as hospitals during the emergency declaration as long as they are not inconsistent with their State’s Emergency Preparedness or Pandemic Plan. The new flexibilities will also leverage these types of sites to decant services typically provided by hospitals such as cancer procedures, trauma surgeries, and other essential surgeries.”
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This post was first published March 30, 2020 and was updated April 27, 2021.