CMS launches Acute Hospital Care at Home program to help with COVID-19 surge

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday took several new steps to help U.S. hospitals manage the crush of new patients as the COVID-19 crisis worsens. Among them are new allowances for telehealth and remote monitoring, for what CMS is calling the Acute Hospital Care at Home program.

Additionally, the agency is expanding its Hospitals Without Walls initiative, with even more regulatory flexibility for ambulatory surgery centers to provide care as a “relief valve” to help overburdened hospitals.

“We’re at a new level of crisis response with COVID-19 and CMS is leveraging the latest innovations and technology to help health care systems that are facing significant challenges to increase their capacity to make sure patients get the care they need,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement.

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“With new areas across the country experiencing significant challenges to the capacity of their health care systems, our job is to make sure that CMS regulations are not standing in the way of patient care for COVID-19 and beyond.”

CMS sees the new programs as a way to build on the expansion of telehealth