ICLG. com> Latest Updates> CMS Announces New Flexibility for Nursing Acute Hospitals in Home and Outpatient Surgery Centers USA
on 01. December 2020
Nine months after the Public Health Emergency (« PHE ») began, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (« CMS ») announced two new strategies to improve hospital capacity with a focus on caregivers. First, CMS is expanding its “Hospitals Without Walls” program with a new initiative “Acute Hospital Care at Home”, which enables more flexible staffing for nurses. Second, CMS provides flexibility for nurse staff in Outpatient Surgery Centers (« ASCs ») who are enrolled as hospitals during PHE.
As of March 2020, with the PHE declaration, CMS has waived a number of Medicare Hospital Eligibility Requirements (« CoPs ») and introduced additional regulatory flexibility to allow hospitals to provide services in non-traditional environments, including ASCs and the home Patients through the « Hospitals Without Walls » program. The blanket waivers are available to all hospitals that meet the requirements. Despite the flexibility offered by the Hospitals Without Walls program, the Nursing CoPs remained a major operational barrier. In particular, the Nursing CoPs at 42C. . F.. . R.. . Section 482. 23 (b) and (b) (1) required the immediate availability of a registered nurse and 24-hour nursing staff physically at home or at the ASC – just like within the four walls of the hospital. Obviously, meeting these CoP requirements has been a challenge, especially in areas of low maintenance. The Acute Home Hospital Care program alleviates these operational difficulties by allowing hospitals to request and waive this special requirement.
The Acute Home Hospital Care Program is not the same as Home Health and is aimed at patients who require acute hospital admission and require at least daily doctor rounding and supervision. Under the Acute Home Hospital Care program, hospitals that request and receive a waiver will establish screening protocols to identify inpatients or those in the emergency room with a qualifying condition such as asthma, heart failure, pneumonia or COPD who do wish to participate in the program. These patients are personally examined and then admitted to their homes, where they receive at least two face-to-face visits per day from an RN or paramedic and a once-daily assessment by an RN either remotely or in person. The hospital must provide monthly monitoring data. This new program is similar to Medicare Health Care’s existing innovation program for acute home hospital care, which was originally awarded to six hospitals outside the PHE. Hospitals interested in participating in the Acute Hospital Care at Home initiative can read frequently asked questions here and apply here.
Applicants should carefully consider how to implement the new program and how to ensure that the other hospital CoPs that have not been waived continue to be adhered to.
CMS also announced flexibility for ASCs registered as hospitals during the PHE so that these facilities only need to provide 24-hour on-site care when a patient is in the facility.
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Healthcare, Medicare Centers & Medicaid Services, Home Care, Medical
World News – UK – CMS announces new flexibility for nurses to fill acute hospital care in home and outpatient surgery centers Enrolled as hospitals | USA | ICLG. com online updates
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