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

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

CMS posted QSO-23-13-ALLon May 1, 2023 with the same title as the blog.

The Secretary’s authority in Section 1135 of the Social Security Act (the “Act”), allowed CMS to issue several temporary emergency statutory and regulatory waivers and flexibilities to help providers respond to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) and focus on the needs of beneficiaries while working to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since the Secretary has announced the PHE will end on May 11, 2023, the authority to issue and maintain 1135 waivers ends on that date. This memorandum outlines the expiration of the emergency waivers issued during the PHE related to the minimum health and safety requirements for Long Term Care (LTC) and Acute and Continuing Care (ACC) providers. This memorandum also describes the timelines for certain regulatory requirements issued during the PHE through Interim Final Rules with Comments (IFCs). The guidance for the termination of emergency waivers and timelines for requirements issued through IFCs are grouped by provider type, starting with guidance that affects all provider-types.

  • For all LTC and ACC providers/suppliers: Pages 2-3.
  • For LTC facilities (i.e., nursing homes): Pages 3-6.
  • For ACC providers: Pages 6-23

This 23-page Memorandum addresses:

  • Staff Vaccination Requirements
  • Emergency Preparedness – Training and Testing Program Exemption
  • 3-Day Prior Hospitalization
  • Alcohol-based Hand-Rub (ABHR) Dispensers
  • Preadmission Screening and Annual Resident Review: (PASARR)
  • Resident Roommates and Grouping
  • Resident Transfer and Discharge
  • Nurse Aide Training Competency and Evaluation Programs (NATCEP)
  • Requirements for Reporting related to COVID-19
  • Requirements for Educating about and Offering Residents and Staff the COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Requirements for COVID-19 Testing
  • Focused Infection Control (FIC) Surveys
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)
  • Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)
  • End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities
  • Home Health Agencies (HHAs) –> Pages 10-11
  • Hospice -> Pages 11-12
  • HHA/Hospice -> Page 12
  • Hospitals/CAHs/ASCs
  • Hospitals/Psychiatric Hospitals/Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs)
  • Life Safety Code (LSC) for Multiple Providers
  • Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Clinics (RHCs/FQHCs)

This is an important Memorandum.  Please share with your colleagues and review carefully with your team.

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