The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has eased a number of service restrictions on physicians who provide care for residents in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities.
The changes join a growing list of so-called “blanket waivers” temporarily granted to healthcare providers and institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. The physician waivers specifically address staff shortages in facilities caring for patients with the coronavirus.
Among the measures:
The changes do not waive requirements for frequency of physician visits or the requirement that the facility provide or arrange for physician services 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. “It is important that a physician be available for consultation regarding a resident’s care,” the agency states.
“The actions will assist in potential staffing shortages, maximize the use of medical personnel and protect the health and safety of residents during the public health emergency,” it concluded.