June 10, 2020

CMS Recommends How to Reopen for Non-Emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released Phase II Guidance to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients are receiving needed in-person treatment that may have been postponed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This new release is intended for regions in Phase II recovery, which are states and regions with no evidence of a rebound that satisfy the CMS gating criteria for symptoms, cases and hospitals.

CMS stated decisions to provide non-emergent care should be consistent with federal, state and local orders, and CDC guidance. The agency encouraged the use of telehealth services when available and appropriate to minimize the need for in-person services.

The announcement comes after previous Phase I Guidance from CMS to safely resume in-person care for areas with low incidence of COVID-19. CMS provided additional information as healthcare systems, providers and facilities further expand in-person care. Recommendations include topics to ensure patient and clinician safety, including facility considerations, testing and sanitation protocols, personal protective equipment and supplies and workforce availability.