The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will grant exceptions under Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to allow facilities affected by Hurricane Irma to focus on treating patients and repairing damages.

Facilities located in areas designated as major disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be exempt from reporting provisions of three programs without having to submit extraordinary circumstances exception requests:

  • the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program;
  • the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program; and
  • the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program.

All 67 Florida counties, along with select municipalities and county-equivalents in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have been designated as major disaster areas. Areas not designated as such can submit a request to apply for exceptions to these programs.

CMS also is reviewing exceptions for the Quality Payment Program in light of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and will update its hurricane resource page accordingly.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.