CMS Issues New Interim Final Rule With Sweeping Regulatory Changes in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with comment period (the “Rule”) which sets forth additional regulatory waivers and other changes to healthcare regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s actions are informed by requests from healthcare providers as well as by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act” states CMS in its press release. Spanning 279 pages, the Rule makes sweeping changes for the full spectrum of health care providers. On a high level, the changes encompass topics including expansion of telehealth, support for and expansion of COVID-19 testing, allowing certain licensed professionals to practice at the top of their licenses, Medicare payments for teaching hospitals, and changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program regarding financial methodologies and application and risk assumption deadlines for accountable care organizations. While we are still reviewing the Rule in its entirety and its implications, those who are interested should read the Rule in its full form linked above. CMS has also updated provider-specific fact sheets on recent waivers and flexibilities which are available here.
Individuals wishing to submit comments to CMS may do so by email or mail for 60 days following the date of publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred as of today.