March 23, 2020
Shortly after the President’s national emergency declaration, CMS issued blanket waivers and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar issued blanket waivers and modifications, both under Section 1135, and more have been issued since then, including ones for EMTALA, HIPAA and telehealth, among others. These waivers are essentially “blanket” waivers which means that a hospital does not need to do anything further to utilize these waivers – they are self-executing.
Late Friday (March 20), IHA filed a statewide Section 1135 waiver on behalf of all Illinois hospitals with the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and we are awaiting a response. If, however, a hospital desires a waiver that is not included in the existing blanket waivers or IHA’s requested waivers, it will need to file its own waiver request or submit it to IHA to be included in a future supplemental request.
In the meantime, the Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services has also filed a Section 1135 waiver for Illinois’ Medicaid program. Additionally, IHA is working on waivers of state law.