CMS Comment Deadline: Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 5:00pm

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announces the availability of and seeks comments on an interim final rule that gives individuals and entities that provide services to Medicare, Medicaid, Basic Health Program, and Exchange beneficiaries needed flexibilities to respond effectively to the serious public health threats posed by the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recognizing the critical importance of expanding COVID-19 testing, CMS is amending several Medicare policies on an interim basis to cover FDA-authorized COVID-19 serology tests, to allow any healthcare professional authorized to do so under State law to order COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory tests (including serological and antibody tests), and to provide for new specimen collection fees for COVID-19 testing under the Physician Fee Schedule and Outpatient Prospective Payment System, during the public health emergency (PHE) for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing the urgency of this situation, and understanding that some pre-existing CMS rules may inhibit innovative uses of technology and capacity that might otherwise be effective in the efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on beneficiaries and the American public, CMS is amending several policies and regulations in response to the COVID-19 PHE and recent legislation, as outlined in this interim final rule. These changes apply to physicians and other practitioners, hospice providers, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs), community mental health centers (CMHCs), clinical laboratories, teaching hospitals, providers of the laboratory testing benefit in Medicaid, Opioid treatment programs, and quality reporting programs (QRPs) for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), home health agencies (HHAs) and durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers.

Members of the public may submit comments online at, or by mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.