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Latest NewsWe wanted to take a quick moment to remind you, Monday, June 6th, marked the end of additional COVID-19 emergency declaration blanket waivers.

As reported in April, CMS’ memo, QSO-22-15-NH & NLTC & LSC, lined out the first set of waivers that CMS rolled back on May 7th, 2022, and the second set of waivers that were terminated yesterday. The Qualifying Hospital Stay, or 3-day stay waiver, has not been announced for early termination and remains in effect.

Below, we outline a few essential waivers, initially implemented in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which have now been terminated. This set of waivers affects Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Facilities (SNFs/NFs), Inpatient Hospices, and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs).

  • Physical Environment for SNF/NFs – 42 CFR §483.90 – CMS had waived requirements to allow for a non-SNF building to be temporarily certified and available for use by a SNF for isolation processes for COVID-19 positive residents and other requirements related to the physical environment.
  • Facility and Medical Equipment Inspection, Testing & Maintenance (ITM) for Inpatient Hospice, ICF/IIDs and SNFs/NFs– 42 CFR §§418.110(c)(2)(iv), 483.470(j) & 483.90 – CMS had waived ITM requirements for facility and medical equipment to reduce disruption of patient care and potential exposure/transmission of COVID-19.
  • Life Safety Code (LSC) and Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC) ITM for Inpatient Hospice, ICF/IIDs and SNFs/NFs – 42 CFR §§ 418.110(d)(1)(i) & (e), 483.470(j)(1)(i) & (5)(v) & 483.90(a)(1)(i) & (b) – CMS had waived ITM required by the LSC and HCFC, with specified exceptions, which permitted facilities to adjust scheduled ITM frequencies and activities to the extent necessary.
  • Outside Windows and Doors for Inpatient Hospice, ICF/IIDs and SFNs/NFs – 42 CFR §§418.110(d)(6), 483.470(e)(1)(i) & 483.90(a)(7) – CMS had waived the requirement to have an outside window or outside door in every sleeping room.
  • Life Safety Code for Inpatient Hospice, ICF/IIDs, and SNFs/NFs – 42 CFR §§418.110(d), 483.470(j) & 483.90(a) – CMS had waived specific LSC provisions around fire drills and temporary construction.
  • Paid Feeding Assistants for LTC facilities – 42 CFR §§483.60(h)(1)(i) & 483.160(a) – CMS had modified the requirements regarding required training of paid feeding assistants to allow that training can be a minimum of one hour in length. CMS did not waive other requirements related to paid feeding assistants or required training content.
  • In-Service Training for LTC facilities – 42 CFR §483.95(g)(1) – CMS had modified the nurse aide training requirements for SNFs and NFs, which required the nursing assistant to receive at least 12 hours of in-service training annually.
  • Training and Certification of Nurse Aides for SNF/NFs – 42 CFR §483.35(d) (Modification & Conditional Termination) – CMS had waived the requirements that a SNF and NF may not employ anyone for longer than four months unless they met the training and certification requirements under §483.35(d). CMS previously provided information related to nurse aides working under this blanket waiver in CMS memorandum QSO-21-17-NH.

For additional information and a complete list of the waivers that have expired, please click here. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication during the last few years. We are honored to partner with you.

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We are devoted in our commitment to providing education and updates to you as they become available. Thank you for your hard work and commitment through these ever-changing times.