The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today additional resources and flexibilities available in response to the recent wildfires in the State of Hawaii, including resources for medical equipment replacement. CMS is working closely with Hawaii to put these flexibilities in place to ensure those affected by these wildfires have access to the care they need – when they need it most.
On August 11, 2023, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra determined that a Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Hawaii due to the wildfires beginning on August 8, 2023, and continuing.
CMS stands ready to assist with resources and waivers to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue to operate and provide access to care to those impacted by the consequences of the wildfire.
The following is key information and resources for those affected and actions CMS is taking in response to the effects of the wildfires in Hawaii:
Healthcare providers who need additional flexibilities specific to the effects of wildfires can submit a request to CMS here: https://cmsqualitysupport.servicenowservices.com/cms_1135.
Medical Equipment Replacements and Supplies Replacements
CMS will temporarily waive certain requirements to enable people with Medicare who have lost or realized damage to their durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies because of the wildfires to receive replacements of such items and services. This will help ensure that beneficiaries can continue accessing the needed medical equipment and supplies they rely on daily. Medicare beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.
Disaster Toolkit and Support for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies
To prepare for current and future disasters, CMS developed a toolkit with an inventory of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities and authorities available to states in the event of a disaster to support Medicaid and CHIP operations and ensure continuity of coverage for people served by these programs during times of crisis. For more information and to access the toolkit, visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/disaster-response-toolkit/index.html.
For information about how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies in a public health emergency, visit the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ HIPAA Emergency Preparedness, Planning, and Response page at: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/index.html.
CMS will continue to work with the State of Hawaii and those areas impacted by the recent wildfire. The organization encourages beneficiaries and providers of healthcare services that have been impacted to seek help by visiting CMS’s emergency webpage at: www.cms.gov/emergency.
To find additional preparedness and response resources for the health sector and emergency management professionals, visit: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/Tools/Pages/default.aspx