Feds grant quality reporting exemption to providers affected by Hurricane Matthew

Skilled nursing providers affected by Hurricane Matthew will receive an exemption for submitting quality reporting data, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week.

In a memo sent on Friday, CMS said the exemptions will benefit Medicare providers across several care settings affected by the “devastating impact” of Hurricane Matthew. The exemption applies to providers located in areas of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina designated as “major disaster” counties by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The exemption for skilled nursing providers, which was posted online earlier this month, applies to SNF QRP data submission requirements for the fourth quarter of 2016, which runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. The original deadline for this period was May 15, 2017.

Providers located counties affected by Hurricane Matthew may continue to submit quality data for the fourth quarter, but any submissions will not be taken into consideration when determining compliance and providers “will not be held accountable” for that data, CMS said.

Hurricane Matthew, which struck the east coast of the United States in early October, is believed to have caused up to $6 billion in damage and 43 deaths the U.S. alone.