March 30, 2020 / MATTHEW WEINSTOCK
The CMS Monday unveiled a host of new flexibilities for hospitals to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a White House Rose Garden event, CMS Administrator Seema Verma unveiled the hospitals without walls program.
“Under the CMS’s temporary new rules, hospitals will be able to transfer patients to outside facilities, such as ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, hotels, and dormitories, while still receiving hospital payments under Medicare. For example, a healthcare system can use a hotel to take care of patients needing less intensive care while using its inpatient beds for COVID-19 patients,” CMS noted in a press release.
Verma also said many ambulatory surgery centers, which are delaying or canceling elective procedures, could be devoted to “hospital-like care.” The agency’s move will also allow physician-owned facilities to increase bed capacity without sanctions.