April 10, 2020
On April 9th the CMS announced a further expansion of the healthcare workforce flexibilities it had previously announced on March 30 in order to boost frontline medical staffs to fight to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional flexibilities include:
- Doctors directly caring for patients at rural hospitals via phone, radio, online communications, even across state lines.
- Nurse practitioners performing some medical exams on skilled nursing facility patients, whether COVID-19 related or not.
- Occupational therapists from home health agencies performing initial assessments on certain homebound patients.
- Hospice nurses being relieved of hospice aide in-service training tasks.
The previously released COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers document was updated on April 9, 2020 to include these additional flexibilities.