This past week, President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius officially declared a national state of emergency allowing Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) to exceed the daily limit of 25 occupied beds.  This is not an indefinite waiver of the limit, and this exception does not apply where H1N1 patients are not a contributing factor to the bed capacity.  The waiver is temporary and is only granted upon a submission from the CAH requesting the increase in bed limits. 

The following information must be included with the request and sent to the regional CMS office:

  • Name
  • City and State
  • Provider Number
  • Hospital Main Contact Person and Contact Information – Phone number, etc
  • Explanation/Reason for waiver request
  • Number of beds over the limit and duration of beds occupied as a result of the reason for which you are filing the waiver

It is unclear how long CMS will allow this bed limit waiver.  In addition, CMS will not issue the waiver prior to the point at which the CAH exceeds the bed count. 

To read more about this waiver and other Section 1135 waivers please read the links below:

President Obama’s Declaration of a National Emergency

CMS Explanation of Section 1135 Waivers

Waiver issued by Secretary Sebelius

Further Explanation of Waiver from