Coronavirus response: Trump admin makes health care changes to address patient surge

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Trump administration has announced temporary regulatory waivers that allow hospitals to provide care at other locations to make room for patients.

It’s called “hospitals without walls.”

“They could use a college dormitory a gymnasium,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said Tuesday.

The new program is creating room for critical coronavirus cases while continuing to give uninfected patients the care they need.

“It allows hospitals to provide services off-site,” Verma added.

Verma said the agency is changing the rules to pay for patients’ treatment outside of hospitals and clinics.

FEMA is already helping expand hospital space in states across the country.

Verma said this initiative adds to the work they have done and allows more involvement on the local level.

“What we want to do is empower local communities to start thinking about this and to use the resources that they already have in their community.”

The CMS waivers will allow hospitals to transfer uninfected patients to the sites, making room for those testing positive for coronavirus.

As far as filling the new spaces with supplies, Verma said they want to make sure health care workers have the tools they need to save lives.

“FEMA sent a very special force of people that are working to find supplies. We’ve seen a great response from the private sector, we’re hearing every day about companies stepping forward.”

Verma said new efforts are being made every day at the agency to take care of Americans during this pandemic.

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