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CMS Modifies Critical Access Hospital 96-Hour Calculation for COVID-19 PHE Waiver Period

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a memo making a one-time adjustment to the 96-hour annual average patient length of stay for critical access hospitals (CAHs) due to the waiver of the requirement during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).  

Since the COVID-19 PHE ended on May 11, the 96-hour length of stay calculation for CAHs will be adjusted to account for the waiver period (March 1, 2020, to May 11, 2023). The evaluation of the average 96-hour patient length of stay requirements will resume with the CAH’s first full cost reporting period after May 11, 2023, which will not include any of the months covered under the COVID-19 PHE blanket waiver. This will be a one-time change to the CAH 96-hour length of stay calculation.