CMS Announces Resources and Flexibilities to Assist with the Public Health Emergency in the Commonwealth of Kentucky Due to Recent Storms
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today additional resources and flexibilities available in response to the recent severe storms in Kentucky. CMS is working closely with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to put these flexibilities in place to ensure those affected by this natural disaster have access to the care they need – when they need it most.
On Aug. 2, 2022, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra determined that a Public Health Emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as the result of the continued consequences of severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides.
CMS stands ready to assist with resources and waivers to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue to operate and provide access to care to those impacted by the consequences of the severe storm outbreak.
The following is key information and resources for those affected and actions CMS is taking in response to the severe storm outbreak in the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Commonwealth of Kentucky Flooding Waivers: CMS waivers are available to providers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky who have been affected by the Severe Storm Outbreak and remain affected by the pandemic. The non-emergency COVID-19 waivers can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/current-non-covid-emergencies. Health care providers who need additional flexibilities specific to the Severe Storm Outbreak can submit a request to CMS here: https://cmsqualitysupport.servicenowservices.com/cms_1135
Disaster Toolkit and Support for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies: To prepare for current and future disasters, CMS has developed an inventory of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities and authorities available to states in the event of a disaster to support Medicaid and CHIP operations and ensure continuity of coverage for people served through Medicaid and CHIP programs during times of crisis. For more information and to access the inventory and toolkit, visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/disaster-response-toolkit/index.html
Dialysis Care: CMS is helping people obtain and maintain access to critical life-saving services by activating the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) program and working with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network 9, who’s contracted area of responsibility includes assessing the status of dialysis facilities in potentially impacted areas of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This includes assessing impacts related to generators, alternate water supplies, education and providing materials for patients, and more. ESRD Network 9 is also assisting people to receive dialysis services in the location to which they evacuated. CMS, through ESRD Network 9, has also advised people to keep an emergency supply kit on hand in a water proof bag, including important personal, medical, and insurance information; contact information for their facility; the ESRD NW hotline number; and contact information of those with whom they may stay or for out-of-state contacts. They have also been instructed to have on hand supplies to follow a three-day emergency diet.
The ESRD NW 9 (Kentucky) toll-free hotline is 844-819-3010.
Additional information is available on the KCER website www.kcercoalition.com
Medical Equipment and Supplies Replacements: CMS will temporarily waive certain requirements to enable people with Medicare who have lost or realized damage to their durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies as a result of the severe storms to receive replacements of such items and services. This will help to ensure beneficiaries can continue to access the needed medical equipment and supplies they rely on each day. Medicare beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.
CMS will continue to work with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and those areas impacted by the recent storms. We encourage beneficiaries and providers of healthcare services that have been impacted to seek help by visiting CMS’s emergency webpage (www.cms.gov/emergency.
Contact: CMS Media Relations