CMS Issues Guidance for the Expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published its memorandum, QSO-23-13-ALL (PDF), providing guidance on the termination of the Social Security Act Section 1135 emergency waivers. Those waivers allowed certain requirements to be waived during the Public Health Emergency (PHE), including:

  • Requirements that each home health and hospice aide receive 12 hours of in-service training in a 12-month period.
  • The requirement that home health agencies perform Medicare-covered initial assessments and determine patients’ homebound status in person.
  • The requirement for home health agencies that a nurse conduct an onsite visit every two weeks
  • The requirement that comprehensive assessments be done within specified timeframes for hospice patients.
  • The requirement that hospice agencies provide certain non-core hospice services for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology.
  • The requirement that home health and hospice providers perform annual full-scale emergency preparedness exercises.

These and other Social Security Act Section 1135 emergency waivers for health care providers will terminate with the end of the COVID-19 PHE on May 11, 2023.