ASC’s now able to temporarily enroll as a hospital during the COVID-19 crisis.

With the Hospitals given the ability to expand bed capacity for treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic; CMS is allowing Medicare-enrolled ASCs to temporarily enroll as hospitals to provide necessary services. This will not only help hospitals increase bed availability but it gives surgery centers a flow of revenue which is greatly needed during this time. Ensuring employment and cash flow is essential for your staff and for business continuity.

Key Highlights from QSO-20-24

  • ASC must submit a signed attestation to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC ) which is AHCA.
  • As long as the ASC has not had an IJ (immediate jeopardy ) within the last 3 years and has been cleared, the review will be passed onto the CMS regional office for final approval.
  • If the facility has been given an IJ within the last year and enforcement is still taking place the facility will be denied.
  • An onsite survey is not required for approval. However, the CMS Regional Office may authorize a survey by the State Survey Agency at a later date to ensure quality and safety.
  • The facility must be designated as either an ASC OR a hospital. It cannot bill as both.
  • If the ASC wishes to participate as a hospital after the health emergency has ended, it must submit form 855A to begin the process of enrollment and initial certification as a hospital under the regular processes.

Though this is a real possibility for many facilities, there are some concerns that need to be addressed. 

  • Staffing for 24-hour care (if needed )
  • Dietary requirements
  • Medical gas supply
  • Medical equipment on hand (access to )
  • Patient care needs:
  • Bedpans, etc.
  • Staff
  • Visitors
  • Soiled linen (holding, pick-up )
  • Pharmaceutical supply

view and download QSO-20-24 and attestation letter.