Home Health Agencies Affected by Harvey Receive Disaster Exemption

In the aftermath of the record-breaking storm Hurricane Harvey, home health care agencies in Texas counties or Louisiana parishes designated as major disaster counties have been granted exceptions for Medicare quality reporting, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday.

Specifically, providers are granted exceptions for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs, and they won’t have to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request. Providers won’t have to comply with Quality Reporting Program reporting requirements for calendar year 2017 quarters 2 and 3, according to CMS.

The exemptions and exceptions also apply to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, outpatient dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The news is likely a welcome one for health care providers in Texas and Louisiana, where thousands of people have been displaced by dangerous flooding after Harvey dropped more than 50 inches of rain in parts of Texas before making its way to Louisiana.

The storm devastated the Houston area, and many seniors were rescued by volunteers and emergency departments, with several shocking images of older adults in waist-deep water in their homes going viral on social media.

Written by Amy Baxter

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