April 20, 2020

CMS issues recommendations on reopening hospitals in areas with low COVID-19 incidence

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 19 issued recommendations on how hospitals and healthcare systems can protect their staff and patients as they reopen for nonemergent care.

The new recommendations update earlier guidance on limiting nonessential surgical and medical procedures and are specifically targeted to communities in Phase 1 of the Administration’s, “Guidelines for Opening up America Again,” which are communities with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases.


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CMS recommends a gradual transition and encourages healthcare providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials. The agency also recommends that healthcare providers review the availability of personal protective equipment and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to restart or increase in-person care.

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