CMS Continues Helping Texas and Louisiana with Hurricane Harvey Recovery
Agency helps impacted beneficiaries with replacement of medical equipment and supplies
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today announced new guidance to support people who are impacted by the loss of their durable medical equipment and supplies due to Hurricane Harvey. The ongoing response from CMS is focused on helping Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, providers, facilities and the general public with their immediate needs and ensuring access to healthcare services and resources are not interrupted throughout the recovery.
Today, the agency finalized new guidance for Fee for Service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries who have lost or realized damage to their durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., established a waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act that allows CMS to temporarily suspend the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation for replacement due to loss or damage from the hurricane. This action will help to make sure that beneficiaries can continue to access the needed medical equipment and supplies they rely on each day.
Suppliers are still required to include a narrative description on the claim explaining why the equipment must be replaced. In addition, suppliers should keep documentation that indicates whether the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the hurricane.
Beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.
For more information, please read the fact sheet online here: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/Downloads/Emergency-DME-Beneficiaries-Harvey.pdf
CMS will continue to work with Texas and Louisiana in their recovery. The agency continues to update its emergency page (www.cms.gov/emergency) with important information for state and local officials, providers, healthcare facilities and the public.
To read previous updates regarding HHS activities related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/about/news.
To learn more about HHS resources related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/hurricane-harvey.