Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

CMS issued a blanket skilled nursing facility waiver and will provide additional technical support through its regional office as southern California recovers from a series of devastating wildfires.

Administrator Seema Verma announced the waivers and other flexibility Friday after acting HHS Secretary Eric D. Hargan declared a public health emergency retroactive to Dec. 4.

That allows CMS to provide temporary relief from certain Medicare and Medicaid program requirements — such as mandated length between skilled nursing stays and communication with family members — to provide beneficiaries with continued access to care.

“While the lives and homes of southern Californians remain at risk from dangerous wildfires, CMS is taking the necessary steps to provide flexibilities that help meet the medical needs of the individuals and families affected,” Verma said. “Our work will continue as long as the people impacted work to recover, rebuild their lives, and access care for themselves and their families.”

More details on waivers for skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are available at