On May 11th, CMS issued additional
for the healthcare community that provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This is in addition to the waivers that were released on April 30. The following blanket waivers are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration.
Paid Feeding Assistants
CMS is modifying the minimum timeframe requirements for feeding assistant training to allow the training to be a minimum of 1 hour in length. CMS is not waiving any other requirements related to paid feeding assistants or the required training content which contains infection control training and other elements. Additionally, CMS is also not waiving or modifying the requirements which requires that a feeding assistant must work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).
With this waiver, AHCA/NCAL’s
Temporary Feeding Assistant training
is allowable. However, additional state requirements may need to be waived to permit individuals completing this program to assist with care in your location. We encourage you to contact your state survey agencies and state occupational licensing agencies, where applicable.
Specific Life Safety Code (LSC) for Multiple Providers
CMS is waiving and modifying waivers under for ICF/IIDs and SNF/NFs. Specifically, CMS is modifying these requirements as follows:
Alcohol-based Hand-Rub (ABHR) Dispensers
: CMS is waiving the requirements for the placement of ABHR dispensers for use by staff and others due to the need for the increased use of ABHR. However, ABHRs contain ethyl alcohol, which is considered a flammable liquid, and there are restrictions on the storage and location of the containers. This includes restricting access by certain patient/resident populations to prevent accidental ingestion.
Due to the increased fire risk for bulk containers (over five gallons) those will still need to be stored in a protected hazardous materials area. In addition, facilities should continue to protect ABHR dispensers against inappropriate use.
: Due to the inadvisability of quarterly fire drills that move and bring staff together, CMS will instead permit a documented orientation training program related to the current fire plan, which considers current facility conditions. The training should instruct employees, including existing, new or temporary employees, on their current duties, life safety procedures and the fire protection devices in their assigned area.
: CMS is waiving requirements that would otherwise not permit temporary walls and barriers between patients.