FAQs Regarding CMS Waiver and Certification Credentials

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Given the recent COVID-19 outbreak, many of you have been contacting us for clarification about current CMS waivers and requirements when it comes to your certification. 

NNCC is committed to keeping our certified nurses and technicians informed, so we've outlined some information for you below.

Your Questions, Answered

Dialysis technicians working in an outpatient ESRD facility are required to follow the CMS ESRD Conditions for Coverage mandate requiring all dialysis technicians to obtain a certification credential as a dialysis technician on a state or national level within 18 months from the initial date of hire and maintain the certification credential to continue working as a dialysis technician. 

In addition, there are some states that have state requirements regarding registration, or certification as a dialysis technician to work within that state.

The CMS Waiver is only regarding the CMS ESRD Conditions for Coverage. If your state has state requirements, you must check with the state regarding any changes that may have occurred due to the COVID-19 emergency.

View the full CMS ESRD waiver document

Does this waiver mean that I can continue to work as a dialysis technician if I have reached my 18-month deadline, or my certification credential has expired. 

According to the CMS COVID-19 Waiver, CMS is modifying the requirement at 42 CFR §494.140(e)(4) for dialysis PCTs that requires certification under a state certification program or a national commercially available certification program within 18 months of being hired as a dialysis PCT for newly employed patient care technicians. CMS is aware of the challenges that PCTs are facing with the limited availability and closures of testing sites during the time of this crisis. 

Important note: CMS will allow PCTs to continue working even if they have not achieved certification within 18 months or have not met on time renewals.

If, in addition to holding your national certification credential with NNCC, you are required to register, or certify within the state where you are currently working, please check with the state directly to see what the state is requiring. Please also check with your employer regarding requirements for certification. Whichever requirement is most stringent is the requirement you must follow.

Does the CMS waiver mean that NNCC has extended my certification credential?

No. NNCC is not able to extend your certification period. All requirements for recertification must be met during your 3-year certification period to be recertified. If you are expired, or due to expire, please submit your recertification application if eligibility criteria has been met. NNCC is fully operational.

Since CMS has issued a waiver, and all testing sites are temporarily closed, should I wait to send my CCHT certification examination application. 

No. Do not wait to submit your application for the CCHT examination. C-NET is operating remotely, so all CCHT examination applications should be emailed to C-NET at info@cnetnurse.com. C-NET will process and review your application, and once testing centers are reopened, C-NET will issue a permit to test.

When will testing centers reopen? 

Testing will resume as soon as the current health emergency has been lifted. Unfortunately, we are unable to say when this will be at this time. If you are planning to take an exam, please visit https://www.cnetnurse.com/covid-update for the most up-to-date information regarding testing.

Do you have more questions for NNCC?  Please feel free to contact us at nncc@nncc-exam.org.

NNCC Board of Commissioners and Staff