• Emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and providers affected by Hurricane Katrina and any future disasters
• Enacted to ensure Medicare programs will be flexible in order to accommodate the emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and medical providers in the states devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
• Many of the programs’ normal operating procedures have been relaxed to speed the provision of health care services to the elderly, children, and persons with disabilities who depend on the services.
Because of hurricane damage to local health care facilities, many beneficiaries have been evacuated to neighboring states where receiving hospitals and nursing homes have no access to patients’:
• Health care records;
• Current health status; or
• Verification of status as Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries.
Health care providers that furnish medical services in good faith, but who cannot comply with normal program requirements because of Hurricane Katrina, will be:
• Paid for services provided; and
• Exempt from sanctions for noncompliance (unless it is discovered that fraud or abuse occurred).