CMS NEWS ALERT AUGUST 17, 2020
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing updated guidance to ensure medical providers are able to provide essential surgical, life-sustaining procedures while continuing to reinforce and bolster infection control precautions at dialysis facilities in states and communities located in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspots witnessing a surge or resurgence of the virus to help prevent and minimize the risk of transmission among dialysis patients.
The guidance memo, “Key Components for Continued COVID-19 Management for Dialysis Facilities” provides a checklist of key actions dialysis facilities should take when there is a surge or resurgence of COVID-19 in their surrounding communities as well as directs providers to resume planned surgical procedures essential to patient quality of care when possible.
CMS previously released guidance to defer nonessential planned surgical procedures as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s updated policy memorandum clarifies that essential surgical procedures such as vascular access and organ transplant procedures are critical for End State Renal Disease patients to receive life-sustaining treatment while also recognizing there will be instances in which local conditions will not allow for these procedures to be done due to resources constraints related to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Dialysis facilities and long-term facilities caring for dialysis patients should utilize the focused infection control tool to perform self-assessments and ensure infection control plans and protections are effectively in place.
For updated guidance related to survey and certification activities and polices continue to monitor the CMS website at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Policy-and-Memos-to-States-and-Regions