April 17, 2020
On April 13, 2020, members of the United States congressional delegation from Texas, including Senator Ted Cruz, co-signed a Letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), to urge CMS to utilize its 1135 waiver authority to provide reimbursement to Texas freestanding emergency centers (“FECs”) that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their Letter, the Members of Congress added the following:
- Currently, FECs are not eligible for payment under the Medicare and Medicaid programs but have similar capabilities as off-campus hospital-owned emergency departments (“EDs”) to assist with patient overflow from EDs including 24/7 operating hours, a physician on-site at all times, and laboratory/imaging services;
- There are over 200 FECs with approximately 1,500 beds located in rural, suburban and urban areas of Texas that are ready to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients needing emergent care; and
- It is critical that all of Texas’ health care providers, specifically FECs, are able to access Medicare and Medicaid funding to treat patients and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The April 13, 2020 Letter can be found
. We will keep you updated on any changes to the 1135 waivers affecting Texas’ FECs.