Section 1135 Waiver Update

March 21, 2020

Shortly after the national emergency declaration, CMS issued blanket waivers and 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 hospitals does not need to do anything further to utilize these waivers – they are self-executing.  If, however, a hospital desires a waiver of a Federal law or regulation that is not currently covered by a waiver than it needs to file a Section 1135 waiver. To expedite this process, late Friday IHA filed a statewide Section 1135 waiver on behalf of all Illinois hospitals  with HHS/CMS.  We are awaiting a response. In the meantime, HFS has also filed a Section 1135 waiver for Illinois’ Medicaid program. Additionally, IHA is working on waivers of state law as well.