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Analysis

CMS Grants Florida 1135 Waiver for Coronavirus Response

By John Commins  
   March 17, 2020

CMS says the waiver will give state governments more flexibility to respond to the epidemic.

Florida this week became the first state to be approved for a Section 1135 waiver to respond to the COVID-19 national emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said.

"Florida is acutely focused on eliminating unnecessary barriers on our healthcare providers who are on the front lines serving our communities most impacted by COVID-19," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a media release. 

On Friday, President Donald Trump granted CMS emergency powers to waive some requirements in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP under Section 1135 authority, to give state governments more flexibility to respond to the epidemic.

The waiver: streamlines provider enrollment processes; allows care to be provided in alternative settings in unlicensed facilities if a licensed facility is evacuated; waives prior authorization requirements;  suspends some nursing home screening requirements to provide necessary administrative relief; and extends deadlines for appeals and state fair hearing requests.

While Florida is the first state to receive the 1135 waiver, CMS said it expects to review waiver requests from other states.

"CMS is committed to removing all unnecessary administrative and bureaucratic barriers that may hinder an effective response to this public health emergency, and I have directed my team to expeditiously process these requests," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.

“Florida is acutely focused on eliminating unnecessary barriers on our healthcare providers who are on the front lines serving our communities most impacted by COVID-19.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

President Donald Trump granted CMS emergency powers to waive some requirements in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP under Section 1135 authority.

The waiver: streamlines provider enrollment processes; allows care to be provided in alternative settings; suspends some nursing home screening requirements; and extends deadlines for appeals.


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