CMS is continuously updating blanket waivers for healthcare providers. There are many associations and websites promoting templates for certain waivers, but be careful, they are only for the facility types listed within the waiver. We have received many questions about the blanket waivers and therefore would like to offer clarification.
The updated “COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers” does include ambulatory surgery centers, but ASCs are not included in the waiver for Physical Environment Conditions of Participation. That specific waiver can be found on page 23 of the document;
“Inspection, Testing & Maintenance (ITM ) under the Physical Environment Conditions of Participation: CMS is waiving certain physical environment requirements for Hospitals, CAHs, inpatient hospice, ICF/IIDs, and SNFs/NFs to reduce the disruption of patient care and potential exposure/transmission of COVID-19. The physical environment regulations require that facilities and equipment be maintained to ensure an acceptable level of safety and quality.”
Although ASCs are associated with hospitals, they have a separate license. There are many surgery centers that are maintained by hospital maintenance personnel. Please be sure they understand that the adjustments made in the hospital do not apply to ASCs.
There are several places where ASCs are included in blanket waivers, as noted below.
One thing is certain; there will be additions and changes until this pandemic is over. As we are all aware of with CMS, AHCA, and accrediting agencies, there will always be changes. Please know we are here to help you navigate through this. If you have questions on past, present, or future life safety issues, feel free to reach out to our Life Safety Compliance Officer (Franklin Sands ) .
CMS summary of blanket waivers can be found here.
Written by Life Safety Compliance Officer, Franklin Sands
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