June 2, 2020

June 02, 2020

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June 01, 2020

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New CMS Waivers Address COVID-19 Surge Planning and Revenue Opportunities

Building on previously announced waivers and emergency rulemaking, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced additional waivers on March 30, 2020, to provide hospitals, health systems, and many other providers with “maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” In contrast to the prior Section 1135 waiver process announced earlier in March, the blanket waivers announced on March 31 by CMS do not require advanced request or notification. The new blanket orders are in effect retroactive to March 1, 2020, and will remain in effect until the end of the national emergency declaration.

The newly announced waivers are designed to allow the nation’s health care delivery systems to effectively manage and absorb the potential surge of COVID-19 patients. To that end, a prominent part of the waivers allows the delivery of hospital services at new locations beyond the existing hospital buildings in order for COVID-19 patients to receive needed acute care at existing facilities. This CMS announced concept of “hospitals without walls” removes existing limits to permit transfer and/or treatment of hospital patients in non-hospitals settings such as Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC), rehab hospitals, hotels, and dormitories while still remaining Medicare-eligible for hospital reimbursement.

The span of these blanket waivers is significant and impacts virtually all Medicare provider types and a vast variety of service areas (e.g., further telehealth services, lab specimen collection, workforce expansion, and provider/medical staff benefits and support etc.).  These CMS waivers provide hospitals and other health care providers the opportunity to pursue initiatives that will improve revenues that have decreased significantly from the cancelation of many in-person encounters, including elective surgeries and procedures.

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About this Author

Eric J. Plinke, Dinsmore Law, Health Care Lawyer, Corporate Attorney
Partner

Eric Plinke is a Partner in the Corporate Department and Health Law Practice Group, and he routinely advises corporate and individual clients regarding a wide-range of health care industry legal issues. He has counseled clients in practice formation and acquisition, hospital and joint venture transactions, hospital and medical practice affiliations, contract review and preparation, compliance programs, HIPAA regulations, scope of practice issues, telemedicine and Stark law and Anti-kickback statutes, as well as significant experience counseling in ambulatory surgery centers and other joint...

614-227-4213
Timothy Cahill Health Care Attorney Dinsmore Law Firm
Partner Of Counsel

Tim is an attorney with more than two decades of experience in health care-related fields. He has worked as in-house counsel and external counsel for non-profit and commercial health care organizations, health systems, hospitals, physicians and physician groups, joint ventures, and other corporate clients. Most recently, Tim served in the role of general counsel of a regional health system, working closely with the executive team and board to further the organization’s strategic mission and significantly improve operating revenues.

In his practice, Tim has addressed a wide range issues related to health care regulatory compliance, fair market value, internal investigations, risk management, medical staff and licensure issues, research, conflicts of interest, managed care contracting, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other corporate transactions that have led to significant growth for his corporate clients.  He has negotiated deals with global pharma, medical device, and health care corporations, as well as numerous regional and national health care nonprofits. Given his previous in-house roles, he has an intimate knowledge of hospital and physician practice operations, finance, and reimbursement issues.

614-227-4274
Stacey A. Borowicz, Regulatory, Health care industry, attorney, Dinsmore Shohl,
Associate

Stacey Borowicz is an accomplished attorney who dedicates the majority of her business and regulatory practice to health care providers. Stacey brings with her more than a decade of front line experience in the health care industry as she acquired a rare set of skills as a medical researcher/scientist prior to entering the practice of law.

Stacey's experience in the healthcare representation is diverse and includes Medicare/Medicaid audit and overpayment appeals, voluntary disclosures and refunds. Stacey also brings a wealth of experience in...

614-227-4212