CMS Announces Strategy to Enhance Hospital Capacity Amid COVID-19 Surge

first_imgThe program clearly differentiates the delivery of acute hospital care at home from more traditional home health services. While home health care provides important skilled nursing and other skilled care services, Acute Hospital Care at Home is for beneficiaries who require acute inpatient admission to a hospital and who require at least daily rounding by a physician and a medical team monitoring their care needs on an ongoing basis. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined unprecedented comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations across the country. These flexibilities include allowances for safe hospital care for eligible patients in their homes and updated staffing flexibility designed to allow ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to provide greater inpatient care when needed. Building on CMS’s previous actions to expand the availability of telehealth across the nation, these actions are aimed at allowing health care services to be provided outside a hospital setting while maintaining capacity to continue critical non-COVID-19 care, allowing hospitals to focus on the increased need for care stemming from public health emergency (PHE). CMS anticipates patients may value the ability to spend time with family and caregivers at home without the visitation restrictions that exist in traditional hospital settings. Additionally, patients and their families not diagnosed with COVID-19 may prefer to receive care in their homes if local hospitals are seeing a larger number of patients with COVID-19. It is the patient’s choice to receive these services in the home or the traditional hospital setting and patients who do not wish to receive them in the home will not be required to. Acute Hospital Care at Home “We’re at a new level of crisis response with COVID-19 and CMS is leveraging the latest innovations and technology to help health care systems that are facing significant challenges to increase their capacity to make sure patients get the care they need,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With new areas across the country experiencing significant challenges to the capacity of their health care systems, our job is to make sure that CMS regulations are not standing in the way of patient care for COVID-19 and beyond.” Ambulatory Surgical Center Flexibility The development of this program was informed by extensive consultation with both academic and private sector industry leaders to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect patients, and at no point will patient safety be compromised. CMS believes that treatment for more than 60 different acute conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care, can be treated appropriately and safely in home settings with proper monitoring and treatment protocols. Today, CMS is announcing an update to that regulatory flexibility, clarifying that participating ASCs need only provide 24-hour nursing services when there is actually one or more patient receiving care onsite. The program change provides ASCs enrolled as hospitals the ability to flex up their staffing when needed and provide an important relief valve in communities experiencing hospital capacity constraints, while not mandating nurses be present when no patients are in the ASC. The flexibility is available to any of the 5732 ASCs throughout the country seeking to participate and will be immediately effective for the 85 ASCs currently participating in the Hospital Without Wallsinitiative. CMS expects this flexibility will allow these and additional ASCs enrolled as hospitals to serve as an added access point that will allow communities to maintain surgical capacity and other life-saving non-COVID-19, like cancer surgeries. Allowing these types of treatments to occur in designated ASCs enrolled as hospitals while hospitals are managing any surges of COVID-19 would allow vulnerable patients to receive this needed care in settings without known COVID-19 cases. Six health systems with extensive experience providing acute hospital care at home are being approved today for the new waivers and include Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts); Huntsman Cancer Institute (Utah); Massachusetts General Hospital (Massachusetts); Mount Sinai Health System (New York City); Presbyterian Healthcare Services (New Mexico); and UnityPoint Health (Iowa). This immediately expands the at-home care options for Medicare beneficiaries in the regions served by these organizations. CMS has been in discussions with other health care systems and expects new applications to be submitted. To support these efforts, CMS has launched an online portal https://qualitynet.cms.gov/acute-hospital-care-at-home to streamline the waiver request process and allow hospitals and healthcare systems to submit the necessary information to ensure they meet the program’s criteria to participate. CMS will also closely monitor the program to safeguard beneficiaries by requiring hospitals to report quality and safety data to CMS on a frequency that is based on their prior experience with the Hospital At Home model. Participating hospitals will be required to have appropriate screening protocols before care at home begins to assess both medical and non-medical factors, including working utilities, assessment of physical barriers and screenings for domestic violence concerns. Beneficiaries will only be admitted from emergency departments and inpatient hospital beds, and an in-person physician evaluation is required prior to starting care at home. A registered nurse will evaluate each patient once daily either in person or remotely, and two in-person visits will occur daily by either registered nurses or mobile integrated health paramedics, based on the patient’s nursing plan and hospital policies. Today’s announcement builds upon the critical work by CMS to expand telehealth coverage to keep beneficiaries safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. CMS has expanded the scope of Medicare telehealth to allow Medicare beneficiaries across the country to receive telehealth services from any location, including their homes. CMS also added over 135 services such as emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services, that could be paid when delivered by telehealth. The flexibilities announced today, and the aggressive action taken by CMS to remove barriers to telehealth, ensure patients and providers have options when receiving and providing care given the challenges and additional stress placed on hospitals and the health care system during the COVID-19 PHE. As part of Hospital Without Walls, CMS also previously announced regulatory flexibility that allowed ASCs — facilities that normally provide same-day surgical care — the ability to be temporarily certified as hospitals and provide inpatient care for longer periods than normally allowed, with the appropriate staffing in place. ASCs are normally subject to a requirement that patients only remain in their care for less than 24 hours or require admission to a regular hospital. In March 2020, CMS announced the Hospitals Without Walls program, which provides broad regulatory flexibility that allowed hospitals to provide services in locations beyond their existing walls. Today, CMS is expanding on this effort by executing an innovative Acute Hospital Care At Home program, providing eligible hospitals with unprecedented regulatory flexibilities to treat eligible patients in their homes. This program was developed to support models of at-home hospital care throughout the country that have seen prior success in several leading hospital institutions and networks, and reported in academic journals, including a major study funded by a Healthcare Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). File Photo/A.J. Heightman last_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgPhoto via SM East Athletics Twitter account.SM East boys tennis eeks out regionals win. SM East’s boys tennis team will look to three-peat as state 6A champions next week after edging out Blue Valley North for the regionals title Saturday. SM East took both first and second place in the singles competition, with senior Brooks Kendall defeating SM East sophomore Jack Santilli in the title match. The state tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Riverside Tennis Complex in Wichita.SM East girls swim team are Sunflower League champs. SM East’s girls swim and dive team earned their tenth straight Sunflower League title Saturday. With 330 team points, the Lancers had enough to hold off second place Lawrence Free State, who finished with 318. SM East’s 200 medley relay team of Sarah Allegri, Annie Mann, Bonnie Longan and Madeline Peters took first place with a 1:50.38, and Logan won the 100 backstroke with a 58.36. State competition will be May 23 and 24 in Topeka. SM East has won the state title each year since 2010.Roeland Park man finds live grenade in box of items from grandfather. A Roeland Park man’s discovery of a live grenade in a box of items his grandfather had brought him Sunday led emergency crews to evacuate eight homes in the vicinity as a bomb squad diffused the explosive. [Man finds live grenade in his home — KCTV5]Leadership Northeast celebrates 25th graduating class. The Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Northeast program recognizes its 25th anniversary this week — and the chamber is hoping alumni will help year’s graduates celebrate. The program’s 25th class will graduate this Thursday during the program’s traditional closing luncheon. The featured speaker is Ed O’Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center and a former state legislator. The event will be Thursday, May 15 at the DoubleTree of Overland Park. The lunch will run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $35. RSVP to Lauren Vaughan at 913-262-2141 or [email protected]last_img read more

Vandy’s Patton Robinette medically cleared to play

first_imgVanderbilt quarterback David Lee (8) tries to avoid Georgia defender Rusty Russell (88) before 51,000 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Oct. 19, 1974. Georgia scored a touchdown with 24 seconds left for a 38-31 victory. Vanderbilt quarterback Patton Robinette has been medically cleared from concussion symptoms and will be in uniform at Missouri on Saturday, according to the Commodores’ official football Twitter account.But redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary will still get his first career start in Saturday’s game (3 p.m./SEC Network), per the same tweet from @VandyFootball on Friday morning. Vanderbilt will become the first Football Bowl Subdivision team to start four different quarterbacks this season.QB Patton Robinette has cleared medical protocols, will be in uniform Saturday. Johnny McCrary will get 1st career start vs. Mizzou.— VandyFootball (@VandyFootball) October 24, 2014Robinette, a sophomore, has not played since suffering the concussion in a Sept. 20 loss to South Carolina.Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason was not made available for comment on Friday, per the team’s regular media availability schedule during a game week.RELATED: Vanderbilt’s five keys to beat MissouriRELATED: Vandy, Missouri to stage ‘great duel’ of returnersRELATED: Vandy hopes Maty Mauk keeps making poor decisionsDuring Tuesday’s weekly press conference, Mason said Robinette’s concussion was not a career-ending condition, but it would take some time for him to work back into game shape after being sidelined for more than a month.“I have all the confidence in the world that Patton will be back, sooner than later. We’re on our way. He was out there the other day,” Mason said on Tuesday. “Once he goes through the protocol for what our doctors have in store and he’s cleared, then what we’ll do is go about the protocol football-wise of a player having to be in shape (after) missing some time. You have to be in shape to step back out there. It’s not like you just step back into the fold and say, ‘OK, you’re our quarterback.’ But he is our leader and we are anxiously awaiting his time back with this team.”Vanderbilt quarterback Patton Robinette has not played since suffering a concussion on Sept. 20.Vanderbilt quarterback Patton Robinette has not played since suffering a concussion on Sept. 20.Vanderbilt has swapped four quarterbacks a combined 10 times this season, due to injuries or coach’s decision. After Wednesday’s practice, McCrary said he did not fear being pulled out of the game.“When I step on the field, I can only do my best,” McCrary said. “If my best isn’t good enough, I’ll take myself out of the game. You can tell if you’re not moving this team, but I want to stay tough and maybe something special will happen.”Robinette, the season-opening starter, has played only portions of three games. He has completed 23 of 32 passes for 240 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The other three quarterbacks – McCrary, LSU graduate transfer Stephen Rivers and true freshman Wade Freebeck – have combined for two TD passes and 11 interceptions.Reach Adam Sparks at 615-259-8010 and on Twitter @AdamSparks.last_img read more