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In Comments to CMS, HCA Seeks Clarification and Broader Regulatory Revisions Amid Public Health Emergency

HCA Vice President for Finance and Management Patrick Conole submitted comments to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) on CMS’s interim rule regarding home care and hospice “regulatory revisions” that have been issued in response to the public health emergency.

In our comments, HCA recognized CMS’s efforts thus far on regulatory relief and waivers, including CMS’s responsive interpretation of the “homebound” status definition in light of COVID-19, new allowances for non-physician practitioners to order home health services, and the modest expansion of remote telecommunications services to help shield against exposure risk and to help augment care.

On this latter area, however, HCA made several recommendations. We noted the recently extended or expanded flexibilities, permissions and payments for telehealth by other practitioners that should be likewise provided broadly to home health and hospice providers whose patients and staff also face infection exposure risks.