CMS Ending COVID-19 Emergency Blanket Waivers for Fire/Life Safety ITM In Various Facilities

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Apr 22, 2022

On April 7, 2022, CMS published a memo announcing they will be sunsetting COVID-19 emergency declaration blanket waivers (“1135 waivers”) and begin enforcing Conditions of Participation in full for skilled nursing facilities/nursing facilities (SNFs/NFs), inpatient hospices, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IIDs), and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities.

Waivers will end 30 or 60 days from the publication date of the memo depending on waiver type. Fire and life safety waivers for the above-mentioned facilities expire at the 60-day mark (June 6, 2022). Waivers will remain in place for hospitals and critical access hospitals until further notice.

Click here for the CMS Announcement and full listing of waiver terminations.

Click here for an updated copy of COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in March 2020, CMS enacted temporary waivers permitting healthcare facilities to relax requirements for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) of some fire protection systems, fire drills, and temporary walls/partitions. This was permissible under section 1135 of the Social Security Act. At the time, 1135 waivers had an open-ended duration as there was no known time in which the pandemic would end.