COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers

Sharon Hamilton MS, RN, CFDS
Clinical Consultant, Briggs Healthcare

Wednesday 04/15/2020

The Trump Administration is taking aggressive actions and exercising regulatory flexibilities to help healthcare providers contain the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). CMS is empowered to take proactive steps through 1135 waivers as well as, where applicable, authority granted under section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and rapidly expand the Administration’s aggressive efforts against COVID-19. As a result, the following blanket waivers are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration.

For general information about waivers, see Attachment A to this document. These waivers DO NOT require a request to be sent to the mailbox or that notification be made to any of CMS’s regional offices.

The heading below are steps through waiver 1135 specific to home health and hospice. Other providers are also included in the 30-page document.

Home Health Agencies (HHAs)    

  • Detailed Information Sharing for Discharge Planning for Hospitals and CAHs. CMS is waiving the requirement 42 CFR §482.43(a)(8), §482.61(e), and §485.642(a)(8) to provide detailed information regarding discharge planning.
  • Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs)
  • CMS is providing relief to HHAs on the timeframes related to OASIS Transmission
  • Initial Assessments. CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR §484.55(a)
  • Waive Onsite Visits for HHA Aide Supervision.
  • Allow Occupational Therapists (OTs) to Perform Initial and Comprehensive Assessment for all Patients.

42 CFR 484.55(a)(2) and 484.55(b)(3).


  • Waive Requirement for Hospices to Use Volunteers. CMS is waiving the requirement at 42 CFR §418.78(e
  • Comprehensive Assessments. CMS is waiving certain requirements at 42 CFR §418.54
  • Waive Non-Core Services. CMS is waiving the requirement for hospices to provide certain non-core hospice services
  • Waived Onsite Visits for Hospice Aide Supervision. CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR §418.76(h)
  • 12-hour Annual In-service Training Requirement for Hospice Aides. 42 CFR 418.76(d)

To read the document provided by CMS click on the link: