Waiver process established for hospitals affected by recent disasters
July 10, 2008
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a waiver process for hospitals affected by recent natural disasters, including floods and tornados.
Because an Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) hospital's inability to complete data submission and/or data validation requirements could affect its Annual Payment Update, IPPS hospitals that were unable to access medical records due to a natural disaster are advised to contact their Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). QIOs will be required to forward detailed documentation regarding the type of disaster and how the hospital was affected to the Hospital Reporting Program Quality Improvement Organization Support Center (QIOSC).
The fact that a hospital is located in an area designated as a disaster by the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) "is not sufficient in itself to justify administrative relief," according to the CMS announcement, "as not all structures in the disaster area may have been subject to the same amount of damage. Damage must be of sufficient severity and extent to compromise retrieval of medical documentation."