Resources for Hurricane Michael Response

PUBLISHED: Oct 15, 2018
Relevant to: All Healthcare Organizations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through its agencies has published several resources to assist with the response to Hurricane Michael.

  • Waivers for Hospitals, Healthcare Facilities, and Clinicians: CMS will be temporarily waiving or modifying certain Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP requirements. CMS will be issuing a number of waivers as necessary, which will be listed on the website below, and the CMS Regional Offices will be granting other provider-specific requests for specific types of hospitals and other facilities in Georgia. These waivers work to provide continued access to care for beneficiaries. For more information on the waivers CMS will grant, visit: www.cms.gov/emergency.
  • Special Enrollment Opportunities for Individuals Impacted by the Hurricane: CMS has made special enrollment periods available for certain individuals seeking health plans offered through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange and all Medicare beneficiaries. This gives people impacted by the hurricane the opportunity to gain access to health coverage on the Exchange or change their Medicare health and prescription drug plans immediately if eligible for the special enrollment period. For more information on these special enrollment periods, visit: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/8-9-natural-disaster-SEP.pdf
  • Dialysis Care: CMS is helping patients obtain access to critical life-saving services. The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) program has been activated and is working with IPRO End Stage Renal Dialysis Network of the South Atlantic (NW 6) to assess the status of dialysis facilities in the potentially impacted areas related to generators, alternate water supplies, education and materials for patients, and more. They are also assisting patients who have evacuated ahead of the storm to receive dialysis services in the location to which they are evacuating. Patients have been educated to have an emergency supply kit on hand 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 in a water proof bag. They have also been instructed to have on hand supplies to follow a three-day emergency diet. The toll-free hotline for NW 6 is 1-800-524-7139 and the KCER hotline is 866-901-3773. Additional information is available on the NW website at https://network6.esrd.ipro.org/home/provider/patient-services/emergency-updates/ or the KCER website www.kcercoalition.com.
  • Medical equipment and supplies replacements: CMS will temporarily suspend certain requirements necessary for Medicare beneficiaries who have lost or sustained damage to their durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies as a result of the hurricane. This will help to make sure that 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.
  • Suspension of Enforcement Activities: CMS will suspend current survey and enforcement activities for healthcare facilities in the affected areas of Florida and Georgia, but will continue to investigate allegations of immediate threat to patient health and safety.

Follow the links below to access additional resources for Hurricane Michael response.

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