Expanding Capacity and Tracking Additional Beds in Rural Communities

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

Division of Quality Assurance: Notifications & Updates

Attn: Critical Access Hospital Administrators

Expanding Capacity and Tracking Additional Beds in Rural Communities

Thank you for the long hours and hard work that you have put in to make sure that the communities that you serve will have the health care they need as we face the threat of this pandemic. Because additional capacity may be needed throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Division of Quality Assurance is encouraging all rural hospitals, if space exists, to expand capacity as permitted under the CMS 1135 blank waiver.

Please see the fact sheet on the regulatory flexibilities and other actions CMS is taking to help healthcare providers and states respond to and contain COVID-19. This action waives the requirements that Critical Access Hospitals limit the number of beds to 25, and that the length of stay be limited to 96 hours. (Blanket waiver for all impacted hospitals).

If your critical access hospital plans to exceed its capacity of 25 beds during the declared national emergency, please send an email to DQA Hospital Licensing Specialist Thomas Rylander so that the number of extra beds can be tracked and shared with the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to apprise officials at the EOC about where capacity is being expanded to assist with needed patients during this outbreak.

Thank you again for your willingness to assist during these difficult times.