The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Declaration on COVID-19

Our Organizational Member Applied Self Direction sent this update to their membership, and we encourage our membership to use it too:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet. This fact sheet should prove helpful to our members as they navigate the challenges of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

One of the many challenges associated with this virus is that direct care may not be able to be provided as it normally is. Per this fact sheet, we encourage states to seek program flexibilities by submitting Section 1135 Waiver Requests. Section 1135 Waiver Requests can be submitted directly to Jackie Glaze, CMS Acting Director, Medicaid & CHIP Operations Group Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services by email (Jackie.Glaze@cms.hhs.gov) or letter. Neither a special form nor format are required for this request, although CMS-recommended best practices for developing Section 1135 Waiver Requests may be found here.

We encourage our FMS and Stakeholder Members to consider the program flexibilities you require to ensure your clients receive needed services and to submit those as soon as possible to your State Medicaid contacts. You know your programs and clients best, but some ideas include:

  • Waiving restrictions on certain family members providing direct care.
  • Temporarily waiving certain background check requirements so workers can be approved to provide care more quickly.
  • Waiving certain prior authorization requirements.
  • Waiving certain individual budget amendment requirements.
  • Waiving requirements for face-to-face meetings to be replaced by phone or videoconference meetings.

CMS has also produced a helpful Disaster Response Toolkit.

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