CMS To Grant Hurricane Irma Medicare Reporting Exceptions

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In this extraordinarily busy hurricane season, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has kept pace by providing administrative exceptions and waiving certain provider requirements to facilitate continuing services to those in need.

CMS recently announced that it will grant exceptions to certain hospitals and other healthcare facilities affected by Hurricane Irma for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. The exception releases these facilities from submitting extraordinary circumstances requests.

The exceptions will assist providers while they focus on caring for their patients and repairing structural damage.

Eligible facilities include:

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Prospective Payment System-exempt cancer hospitals
  • Inpatient psychiatric facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Hospices
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Renal dialysis facilities
  • Long-term care hospitals
  • Ambulatory surgical centers

Providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions request if they are located in one of the listed Florida counties, Puerto Rico municipios or U.S. Virgin Islands county-equivalents. All listed areas have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as major disaster areas. All 67 Florida counties are within the FEMA designated areas.

The scope and duration of the exceptions are specific to each Medicare quality reporting program. You can read the details for each reporting program in CMS' announcement on the applicability of reporting requirements, reference #2017-126-IP sent on September 14, 2017.

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