HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, has announced a 90-day extension to the public health emergency, which was set to expire on April 16.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PBL is being extended for the ninth time since January 2020. The number of cases is rising again in some areas and mask mandates are being implemented in certain regions.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
Thanks to the PBL, hospitals and providers can use waivers for innovation in areas such as telecare and acute hospital care at home.
HHS and the Biden administration have said they would give 60 days’ notice before terminating the PHE.
Experts have said that HHS signals to reduce PHE. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are phasing out certain long-term care flexibilities to return to pre-COVID-19 policies for skilled nursing facilities, inpatient hospices, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, and end-stage renal disease facilities .
Federal funds are no longer available for vaccine administration and testing and treatment under the COVID-19 uninsured program.
THE BIGGER TREND
The PHE has been in existence since January 2020 and has been renewed four times under previous HHS Secretary Alex Azar and now five times under Becerra.
ON THE REGISTRATION
“We are pleased to hear that the national public health emergency has been extended for another 90 days. Now is the time for government agencies to ensure adequate plans are in place to relax and process re-decisions to ensure that the millions of adults and children who have accessed coverage in the past two years have not experienced a coverage gap,” said Heather Korbulic, senior policy and strategy leader at GetInsured.
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