Changes to Scope of Practice & Practice Rules
April 2, 2020
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a series of new waivers and policies related to current regulations to provide flexibility to providers to address patient care and system needs during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Medicare hospital Conditions of Participation require that all patients be "under the care of" a physician. During this public health emergency, CMS has waived that requirement, which could mean increased responsibilities for physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners (depending on state rules and emergency preparedness plans). In addition, CMS has waived the requirement that certified registered nurse anesthetists practice under the supervision of a physician in the hospital, critical access hospital, and ambulatory surgery center settings.
For more information on these and other policies, see the CMS Fact Sheet.