§ 488.54Temporary waivers applicable to hospitals.
(a)General provisions. If a hospital is found to be out of compliance with one or more conditions of participation for hospitals, as specified in part 482 of this chapter, a temporary waiver may be granted by CMS. CMS may extend a temporary waiver only if such a waiver would not jeopardize or adversely affect the health and safety of patients. The waiver may be issued for any one year period or less under certain circumstances. The waiver may be withdrawn earlier if CMS determines this action is necessary to protect the health and safety of patients. A waiver may be granted only if:
(1) The hospital is located in a rural area. This includes all areas not delineated as “urban” by the Bureau of the Census, based on the most recent census;
(2) The hospital has 50 or fewer inpatient hospital beds;
(3) The character and seriousness of the deficiencies do not adversely affect the health and safety of patients; and
(4) The hospital has made and continues to make a good faith effort to comply with personnel requirements consistent with any waiver.
(b)Minimum compliance requirements. Each case will have to be decided on its individual merits, and while the degree and extent of compliance will vary, the institution must, as a minimum, meet all of the statutory conditions in section 1861(e)(1)-(8), in addition to meeting such other requirements as the Secretary finds necessary under section 1861(e)(9). (For further information relating to the exception in section 1861(e)(5) of the Act, see paragraph (c) of this section.)
(c)Temporary waiver of 24-hour nursing requirement of 24-hour registered nurse requirement. CMS may waive the requirement contained in section 1861(e)(5) that a hospital must provide 24-hour nursing service furnished or supervised by a registered nurse. Such a waiver may be granted when the following criteria are met:
(1) The hospital's failure to comply fully with the 24-hour nursing requirement is attributable to a temporary shortage of qualified nursing personnel in the area in which the hospital is located.
(2) A registered nurse is present on the premises to furnish or supervise the nursing services during at least the daytime shift, 7 days a week.
(3) The hospital has in charge, on all tours of duty not covered by a registered nurse, a licensed practical (vocational) nurse.
(4) The hospital complies with all requirements specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
(d)Temporary waiver for technical personnel. CMS may waive technical personnel requirements, issued under section 1861(e)(9) of the Act, contained in the Conditions of Participation; Hospitals (part 482 of this chapter). Such a waiver must take into account the availability of technical personnel and the educational opportunities for technical personnel in the area in which the hospital is located. CMS may also limit the scope of services furnished by a hospital in conjunction with the waiver in order not to adversely affect the health and safety of the patients. In addition, the hospital must also comply with all requirements specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
[39 FR 2251, Jan. 17, 1974. Redesignated at 39 FR 11419, Mar. 28, 1974, and amended at 41 FR 27962, July 8, 1976. Further redesignated at 42 FR 52826, Sept. 30, 1977, and amended at 47 FR 31531, July 20, 1982; 51 FR 22041, June 17, 1986. Redesignated at 53 FR 23100, June 17, 1988]
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