Special Bulletin

The federal agency has announced waivers on a rolling basis over the last month. Federal officials announced over the weekend that they would be waiving costs of COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related services for the privately insured.   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the U.S.…
The move comes on the heels of other regulations also being suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily suspended a series of rules in order to allow healthcare facilities nationwide to bolster their medical staffs, federal officials announced Thursday. Specifically, the…
The insurer giant is also waiving the audio-visual component requirement.   The nation’s second-largest healthcare insurer announced this week that it is waiving telehealth site restrictions and audio-visual mandates amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. UnitedHealthcare (UHC) made the announcement via an update to its online resource library on Wednesday, saying that…
The former HHS Inspector General and AHA have rallied to the defense of the report’s architect.   A report issued this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) describes a dystopian scenario of American hospitals reeling badly from the COVID-19 viral…
Providers and federal officials alike continue to adjust to the new normal, and an uncertain future. EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Ronald Hirsch, vice president of R1 RCM, and healthcare attorney David Glaser, of Fredrikson and Bryon, reported these two stories during this week’s live edition of Monitor Mondays. What follows are…
March 31, 2020

CMS Releases Tsunami of Waivers

By Chuck Buck
In an unprecedented move, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released 15 documents specifying new waivers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers touch every aspect of medical care. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that while all the waivers are blanket waivers covering all providers in…
March 26, 2020

NEWS ALERT: CMS Allows Remote Delivery

By Chuck Buck
Federal authorities have decided that telephonic communications is an acceptable alternative to in-person meetings. EDITOR’S NOTE: With looming shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and an unknown asymptomatic period associated with COVID-19 infection, hospitals around the country have been doing everything possible to preserve stocks of PPE and minimize contact…
Long-awaited and highly anticipated, providers hope other payers will follow suit. Healthcare insurer giant UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has announced that it will be suspending prior authorization requirements for post-acute settings through May 31, 2020, with the waiver applying to long-term care facilities (LTCFs), acute inpatient rehabilitation (AIR), and skilled nursing facilities…