Precautionary restrictions on site

Precautionary restrictions on site

CMS has taken precautions to protect you when you stay in a qualified nursing facility. Fewer people will be allowed on the premises and there will be fewer interactions between residents. This means there are restrictions on volunteers and non-essential employees, restrictions on visitors unless someone is at the end of their life, and restrictions on group activities and joint meals. Social distancing can be difficult to achieve in such close environments, but every effort must be made to reduce the risk of exposure to this contagious virus.

Authorizations for emergency use

Several treatments have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. These treatments are approved in the short term based on preliminary data. They haven't completed the entire FDA approval process yet. It is possible that these treatments may be denied and approved at a future date once all studies have been completed and data reviewed. With safety in mind, Medicare does not traditionally cover drugs that have not completed the entire FDA approval process. However, COVID-19 poses a greater risk to Medicare beneficiaries in particular. For this reason, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services added a rule that allowed coverage for emergency licensed treatments, including vaccines and other therapies when it came to COVID-19. Currently, all COVID-19 vaccinations with a EUA are free for Medicare beneficiaries with no cost-sharing, ie no copay or deductibles.

A word from Verywell

The elderly and people with chronic conditions are at an increased risk of developing severe respiratory complications from COVID-19. With this in mind, CMS has taken steps to increase Medicare coverage and improve access to services that can help diagnose and treat the condition. The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means that more recent information may be available as you read it. For the latest updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page. Medicare will also continue to pay for medically necessary stays in a traditional hospital. That being the case, the two-midnight rule still applies. This means that you will be placed under observation (where Part B covers your stay) or hospitalized as an inpatient (where Part A covers your stay) based on how sick you are, the intensity of services you receive and how long you should stay in the hospital. Traditionally, Medicare requires a hospital stay that lasts at least three days before covering a stay in a Qualified Nursing Facility (SNF) or nursing home. Medicare Advantage plans had the option to waive this rule, but now CMS allows Original Medicare to waive this rule as well. If there are increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitals can peak in capacity. To care for the sickest people, some patients may need to be diverted to other locations, including CAH or SNF, as they recover or are being treated for less severe conditions.
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