CMS ACTIONS TO HELP BENEFICIARIES, PROVIDERS IN KATRINA STRICKEN AREAS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has acted to assure that the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs will flex to accommodate the emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and medical providers in the Hurricane Katrina devastated states.
Many of the programs’ normal operating procedures will be relaxed to speed provision of health care services to the elderly, children and persons with disabilities who depend upon them.
Because of hurricane damage to local health care facilities, many beneficiaries have been evacuated to neighboring states where receiving hospitals and nursing homes have no health care records, information on current health status or even verification of the person’s status as a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary. CMS is assuring those facilities that in this circumstance the normal burden of documentation will be waived and that the presumption of eligibility should be made.
Federal Medicaid officials are also working closely with state Medicaid agencies to coordinate resolution of interstate payment agreements for recipients who are served outside their home states.
The agency will also offer the following relief immediately:
More information about CMS emergency relief activities, including a detailed explanation of billing and payment policy revisions, and phone numbers for the state medical assistance offices can be found can be found at www.cms.hhs.gov. Frequently asked questions and their answers on the site will be updated daily by 2pm.