CMS Waives 3-Day Inpatient Requirement for Skilled Nursing Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently announced a number of Section 1135 waivers as part of their response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). This includes waiving the 3-day hospital inpatient requirement for Medicare to cover skilled nursing care.

CMS is waiving the requirement at Section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act for a 3-day prior
hospitalization for coverage of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay provides temporary
emergency coverage of (SNF services without a qualifying hospital stay, for those people
who need to be transferred as a result of the effect of a disaster or emergency. In addition,
for certain beneficiaries who recently exhausted their SNF benefits, it authorizes renewed
SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period.


Please see their handout, COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet, for more information on all the waivers.


Also, the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) just released a plain-language fact sheet on COVID-19 prevention available in English and in Spanish. Please share widely.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.