Health care facilities can access a templated letter and table to request a waiver under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. The waiver will allow facilities to delay inspection, testing, maintenance and certain drills required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The letter must be modified to include the health care organization’s information. The table, which should be submitted with the letter, gives guidance on how requirements should be modified during the COVID-19 emergency. Waivers help to limit non-essential persons from entering health facilities and risking exposure, while also allowing health care staff to focus on patients.
Important guidance update:
Although the enactment of Social Security Act 1135(2)(B)(1) specifically gives the authority to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to waive certain Conditions of Participation during a national emergency, waivers will not be granted unless requested by a health care organization and approved by CMS.
ASHE recommends that health care facilities submit waiver requests by region or individually to their regional office, even those part of a national organization. An individual or regional request will allow health care organizations to better detail specific criteria, such as current surge issues within the area. This information will help to inform CMS’s waiver granting process.
Also, it is important that health care organizations clarify to their regional CMS office that the waiver request is only to defer these certain requirements until the state of emergency is lifted.
This document is provided by ASHE as a service to its members. The information provided may not apply to a reader’s specific situation and is not a substitute for application of the reader’s own independent judgment or the advice of a competent professional. ASHE does not make any guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this document. ASHE and the authors disclaim liability for personal injury, property damage, or other damages of any kind, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, that may result directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on this document.