April 16, 2020

CMS Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers Include Conditional Waiver of Physician Supervision of Nurse Practitioners

CMS announced on April 9, as part of their Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers, that physician supervision of nurse practitioners will be waived in certain locations for the duration of the federal state of emergency. The regulations for certification of certain healthcare entities (42 C.F.R. 491.8(b)(1)) provide that physician responsibilities at rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) include “medical direction for the clinic's or center's health care activities and consultation for, and medical supervision of, the health care staff.” The relevant waiver modifies this requirement with respect to medical supervision of nurse practitioners, and only to the extent permitted by relevant state laws. The waivers are retroactive to March 1.