CMS and IRS inform on COVID-19 and healthcare

March 12, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have released a number of new documents and guidance related to COVID-19, health plans, medical supplies and healthcare.

It includes:

·        Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements;

·         Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D requirements and flexibilities;

·         Cost-sharing for high-deductible health plans;

·         Respirator and facemask use for health care workers; and

·         Health and safety for home health agency (HHA) and dialysis providers.

They advise:

Please share this advisory with your executive management team, hospital epidemiologist, infection control leadership, emergency department (ED) director, emergency preparedness staff, employee health and heads of services (e.g., environmental services, resources and materials managers, hospital engineers pediatrics and critical care), billing department, as well as your clinical leadership team.

Highlights include:

·         Hospitals and health systems’ requirement to adhere to existing obligations for screening, stabilization and transfers under EMTALA, with latitude to establish screening sites away from the ED, but on the hospital campus.

·         MA plans’ and Part D sponsors’ requirements and flexibilities to remove potential barriers to care, such as cost-sharing, prior authorization and limits on drug refills.

·         IRS guidance to employers permitting the waiving of cost-sharing for employees in high-deductible health plans.

·         Clarifications around the acceptable uses of different types of respirators and facemasks for health care workers.

·         Recommendations for screening and treatment of patients and staff at HHAs and dialysis centers.

AHA has the statement.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.