Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Recommendations

Re-opening Facilities to Provide Non-emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare: Phase I

CMS recognizes that at this time many areas have a low, or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19, and that it is important to be flexible and allow facilities to provide care for patients needing non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare. In addition, as states and localities begin to stabilize, it is important to restart care that is currently being postponed, such as certain procedural care (surgeries and procedures), chronic disease care, and, ultimately, preventive care. Patients continue to have ongoing healthcare needs that are currently being deferred.

Therefore, if states or regions have passed the Gating Criteria (symptoms, cases, and hospitals) announced on April 16, 2020, then they may proceed to Phase I. The Guidelines for Opening Up America Again can be found at the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/#criteria

Maximum use of all telehealth modalities is strongly encouraged. However, for care that cannot be accomplished virtually, these recommendations — the first in a series of recommendations — may guide healthcare systems and facilities as they consider resuming in-person care of non-COVID-19 patients in regions with low incidence of COVID-19 disease.

Non-COVID-19 care should be offered to patients as clinically appropriate and within a state, locality, or facility that has the resources to provide such care and the ability to quickly respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases, if necessary. Decisions should be consistent with public health information and in collaboration with state public health authorities. Careful planning is required to resume in-person care of patients requiring non-COVID-19 care, and all aspects of care must be considered — for example:

  • Adequate facilities, workforce, testing, and supplies
  • Adequate workforce across phases of care (such as availability of clinicians, nurses, anesthesia, pharmacy, imaging, pathology support, and post-acute care)

Attached is a link to the complete article and the new recommendations: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-flexibility-reopen-essential-non-covid-services.pdf

 

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