CMS Announces Hurricane Ida Support

Agency will take measures to ensure access to healthcare, including DME, for beneficiaries in Louisiana and Mississippi.

CMS will implement various policy flexibilities to ensure residents in Louisiana and Mississippi hit by Hurricane Ida will have healthcare access, including DME

The news comes after HHS Secretary Becerra declared public health emergencies for Louisiana and Mississippi due to Ida. That declaration authorized CMS to implement the flexibilities.

When it comes to DME, supplies and replacements, CMS will temporarily waive certain requirements to enable people with Medicare who have lost or realized damage to their DME, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies as a result of the hurricane to receive replacements of such items and services.

Medicare beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.

“With this administrative relief, we are acting to ensure people do not have a lapse in health coverage or lack access to the critical care they need,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said. “We are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to provide access to health care and crucial life-saving and sustaining services when it matters most.”

Also, the American Association for Homecare reported that CMS provided it with details on oxygen exchange and charging stations.

The New Orleans Health Department, the New Orleans Fire Department, and the Louisiana Department of Health are working to help residents who need power for medical reasons. The City is opening Oxygen Exchange sites across the city, where residents who are oxygen patients can swap out an empty tank for a full tank, free of charge.

The following locations will open at 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

  • New Orleans Fire Station 1, 2920 Magazine St.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 36, 5403 Read Blvd.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 6, 4500 Old Gentilly Rd.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 40, 2500 General de Gaulle Dr.

Oxygen users that cannot get to any of these sites should call the Special Needs Registry at 504-658-2558.

Additionally, charging stations will be open for residents to power electronic medical devices. Currently, these can be found at the Central City Senior Center, 2101 Philip St., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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