CMS State Goals in the COVID-19 Pandemic

By John Fisher, JD, CHC, CCEP

CMS has identified its general goals during the COVID-19 pandemic on a few occasions. The most recent was in the April 30, 2020 press release in which CMS introduces new regulatory waivers to assist providers as they emerge from the pandemic. CMS’ identified goals have included:

  1. To ensure that local hospitals and health systems have the capacity to handle COVID-19 patients through temporary expansion sites (also known as the CMS Hospital Without Walls initiative);
  2. To expand at-home and community-based testing to minimize transmission of COVID-19;
  3. To expand the healthcare workforce by removing barriers for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians to be readily hired from the local community or other states;
  4. To increase access to telehealth for Medicare patients so they can get care from their physicians and other clinicians while staying safely at home; and
  5. put patients over paperwork by giving providers, healthcare facilities, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and states temporary relief from many reporting and audit requirements so they can focus on patient care.

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