April 3, 2020
Under the Section 1135 waiver authority, CMS has waived the 3-day hospital stay requirement that must immediately precede a covered Part A qualified stay at a skilled nursing facility (“SNF”). During the CMS National Stakeholder Call on March 31, 2020, CMS Administrator Seema Verma confirmed that this waiver is not geographic specific and applies to all SNFs regardless of whether the SNF is in a community then currently experiencing a COVID-19 crisis or surge. Administrator Verma also confirmed that patients admitted to a SNF under this waiver need not have a COVID-19 diagnosis. Additional information about the SNF waivers are available in the CMS “Tear Sheet” for Long-Term Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities and/or Nursing Facilities) on the CMS Coronavirus Waivers & Flexibilities website.