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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.


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Are Medicare patient patients still required to have 3-day inpatient hospital stay in order to qualify for the Skilled Nursing Facility benefit?

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Section 1861(i) of the Social Security Act permits Medicare payment for Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care only when a beneficiary first has an inpatient hospital stay of at least three consecutive days. Section 1812(f) of the Act allows Medicare to pay for SNF services without a 3-day qualifying stay if the Secretary finds that doing so will not increase total payments made under the Medicare program or change the essential acute-care nature of the SNF benefit. Accordingly, CMS has stated that SNF care without a 3-day inpatient hospital stay will be covered for beneficiaries who experience dislocations or are affected by the emergency.

This CMS blanket waiver is in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the federal emergency declaration.

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