COVID-19 Update: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19
March 31, 2020
CMS released a document outlining temporary regulatory waivers and new rules issued by the Trump Administration to provide the healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary changes will apply immediately for the duration of the emergency declaration. Several of the temporary regulatory changes impact the hospital’s Graduate Medical Education reporting.
Application of Teaching Physician Regulations: Teaching physicians do not have to be physically present for services or procedures completed by a resident with some exceptions. Instead, the teaching physician can be virtually present through audio/video real-time communications technology. Exceptions include cases involving surgical, high risk, interventional, or other complex procedures, services performed through an endoscope, and anesthesia services.
Counting of Resident Time at Alternate Locations: A hospital that is paying the resident’s salary and fringe benefits for the time that the resident is at home or in a patient’s home, but performing duties with the scope of the approved residency program and meets appropriate physician supervision requirements can claim that resident for direct and indirect Graduate Medical Education purposes.
Medical Staff Requirements: To address workforce concerns related to COVID-19, new physicians can practice in the hospital before full medical staff/governing body review and approval.
Cost Reporting: As several MACs had indicated, CMS is delaying the filing deadline for cost reports due by March 31, 2020, April 30, 2020, and May 31, 2020. The extended cost report due date for Fiscal Year Ending October 31, 2019, and November 30, 2019, will be June 30, 2020. The extended cost report due date for Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019, will be July 31, 2020.
Find the full list of CMS flexibilities listed in the document at the following link: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-teaching-hospitals.pdf
As we learn more, we’ll continue to post updates to our website.