Skilled Nursing Facility

Despite evacuation orders, some SNFs decide to stay

As of September 2, nearly 100 nursing homes and SNFs have evacuated on the eastern coast of Florida. But while Governor Brian Kemp has issued a mandatory evacuation for 21 counties on the Georgia, coast, about half of SNFs and nursing homes in the area have decided to shelter-in-place, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Further up the coast in South Carolina, many coastal cities are also under mandatary evacuation orders. Within the evacuation zones in South Carolina, some hospitals have been granted waivers to shelter-in-place, but all other healthcare facilities, including 25 nursing homes, and 92 SNFs/assisted living facilities have been instructed to evacuate.

In the midst of these evacuations, CMS has released a statement addressing hurricane preparation, in which Administrator Seema Verma stated that CMS ,”will partner and coordinate with state, federal, and local officials to make sure that in the midst of all of the uncertainty a natural disaster can bring, our beneficiaries will not have to worry about access to healthcare and other crucial life-saving and sustaining services they may need.”

CMS will provide assistance to the affected SNFs by offering the following:

  • Temporary waivers for SNFs that will modify certain Medicare requirements
  • Special enrollment opportunities for hurricane victims
  • Dialysis care
  • Medical equipment and supplies replacements
  • Suspension of enforcement activities

CMS has also compiled a list of emergency preparedness resources to develop emergency plans and tool kits.