CMS Relaxes Physician Certification Statement Signature Requirements During Public Health Emergency for COVID-19  By Kathy Lester, J.D., M.P.H.   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released guidance that recognizes the difficulty ambulance service providers and suppliers may have during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) in obtaining a physician certification statement (PCS) signed by a physician or other authorized professional. The question and answer below indicates that CMS (and its contractors by extension) will not deny claims during a future medical audit even if there is no signature for non-emergency ambulance transports, absent an indication of fraud or abuse. Ambulance service providers and suppliers should indicate in the documentation that a signature was not able to be obtained because of COVID-19. The AAA advises completing the PCS form and then indicating if a physician, or other appropriate personnel, has not signed it by writing “COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” on the signature line. CMS also reminds providers and suppliers that medical necessity still needs to be met. The American Ambulance Association has been advocating for CMS to ease its restrictions on signature requirements during the COVID-19 PHE. The FAQ posted by CMS is consistent with our recommendations. The specific…

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