The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued these updates yesterday:

Catastrophic Plan Coverage and COVID-19

CMS issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to clarify coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by catastrophic health plans. A catastrophic health plan generally may not provide coverage of an essential health benefit before an enrollee meets the plan’s deductible. Through these FAQs, CMS is announcing that the agency will not take enforcement action against any health issuer that amends its catastrophic plans to provide coverage without imposing cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 related services before an enrollee meets the catastrophic plan’s deductible. CMS encourages states to take a similar enforcement approach.

The FAQ document is available here.

Recommendations on Adult Elective Surgeries, Non-Essential Medical, Surgical, and Dental Procedures During COVID-19 Response

CMS announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures should be delayed during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The recommendations provide a framework for hospitals and clinicians to implement immediately during the COVID-19 response. The recommendations outline factors that should be considered for postponing elective surgeries, and non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures. Those factors include patient risk factors, availability of beds, staff and personal protective equipment (PPE), and the urgency of the procedure. This will help providers to focus on addressing more urgent cases and preserve resources needed for the COVID-19 response. The decision about proceeding with non-essential surgeries and procedures will be made at the local level by the clinician, patient, hospital, and state and local health departments.

The recommendations can be found here.

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