CMS Provides Texas and Louisiana with Vital Hurricane Harvey Recovery
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today announced new guidance to support people who are impacted by the loss of their medical equipment and supplies due to Hurricane Harvey. The ongoing response from CMS is focused on helping Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, providers, facilities and the general public with their immediate needs by ensuring their access to healthcare services and resources are not interrupted throughout the recovery.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., established a waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act that allows CMS to temporarily suspend the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation for replacement due to loss or damage from the hurricane. This action will help beneficiaries have continued access to the needed medical equipment and supplies they rely on each day.
Suppliers are still required to include a narrative description on the claim explaining why the equipment must be replaced. In addition, suppliers should keep documentation that indicates whether the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the hurricane.
Beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance. For more information, please read the fact sheet online here: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/Downloads/Emergency-DME-Beneficiaries-Harvey.pdf
CMS will continue to work with Texas and Louisiana in their recovery. The agency continues to update its emergency page (www.cms.gov/emergency) with important information for state and local officials, providers, healthcare facilities and the public. To read previous updates regarding HHS activities related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/about/news. To learn more about HHS resources related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit https://www.hhs.gov/hurricane-harvey.