On April 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance to the healthcare industry on the re-opening of facilities to provide non-emergent healthcare. After the White House announced a three-phased approach to re-opening the country, and with many state Governors beginning to release their individual approach to this, CMS also recognizes that it is important to restart care that is currently being postponed, such as certain procedural care (surgeries and procedures), chronic disease care, and, ultimately, preventive care.
Phase-1 guidance from CMS includes the following:
Of note, CMS recommends the routine screening of employees for Covid-19 symptoms with provisions including that healthcare providers wear face masks at all times while still striving to conserve PPE. CMS further recommends that when adequate testing capability is established, patients should be screened by laboratory testing before care, and staff working in these facilities should be regularly screened by laboratory test as well. National Medical will continue to monitor the testing options available to the Ambulatory Surgery Center industry specifically and has been working with CMS to obtain further clarity on this.
All facilities should continue to evaluate regional Covid-19 activity to ensure there remains a low-risk of incident to implement these guidelines. Further guidance will be released as our country enters Phase 2 and 3 of its re-opening.
Read more about the CMS Phase 1 Guidelines here:
This post was first published April 20, 2020 and was updated July 29, 2020.