- Effective July 15, 2022, HHS renewed the public health emergency for the tenth time.
- The renewal was set as a result of the continued consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- If the emergency is not renewed again, HHS agreed to give stakeholders a 60-day warning.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration for another 90 days going effective July 15, 2022.
In the statement, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra explained that the renewal was set as a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and after consultation with public health officials as necessary.
This is the tenth time this public health emergency is renewed. Former HHS Secretary, Alex M. Azar II, renewed this PHE four times in previous years: April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021. Becerra did it on April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 12, 2022, and July 15, 2022.
What happens if the PHE is not extended again?
If the emergency is not extended again, the HHS agreed to give stakeholders a 60-day warning. The department won´t be able to give any longer notice.
That notice could help physicians, medical practices, and other stakeholders be prepared for the removal of major flexibilities for telehealth use, including the waiver of originating site requirements and other barriers to reimbursement for the use of telehealth.
The end of this PHE will mean states must start redetermining Medicaid eligibility and will have 14 months to fully redetermine each Medicaid beneficiary´s eligibility.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and other national health care organizations have urged HHS to maintain the public health emergency until it’s clear that the global pandemic has receded and the capabilities authorized by the PHE are no longer necessary.
Read more about this on our article Hospital groups are pressing HHS to expand the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
The organizations stated that maintaining the PHE will help prevent any future surges from threatening the health and safety of patients and the ability of health care professionals to care for them.
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