Harvey declared public health emergency: HHS waives documentation requirements for healthcare facilities

Share this content:

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., declared a public health emergency in Texas on Saturday in response to Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods.

Price's declaration will allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to waive certain documentation requirements for Texas healthcare providers, according to a press release from HHS. The documentation waiver will help hospitals or nursing homes that may not have healthcare records, current health status information or Medicare verification for the evacuated patients they're accepting, HHS said.

“We recognize the gravity of the situation in Texas, and the declaration of a public health emergency will provide additional flexibility and authority to help those who have been impacted by the storm,” Price said.

The documentation flexibilities became effective at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, but are retroactive to Aug. 25.

In other Harvey news, LeadingAge announced Monday it had created the LeadingAge Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund. One hundred percent of all donations will go directly to LeadingAge's nonprofit aging services members and staff to cover a range of needs including supplies such as food and water, CEO Katie Smith Sloan said.