Public health emergency reportedly will be renewed

The COVID-19 public health emergency that was set to expire July 25 will be extended, Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo tweeted Monday night. 

The extension would prolong the emergency designation by 90 days.

Several payment policies and regulatory adjustments are connected to the public health emergency, so the extension is welcome news for health care providers, according to Modern Healthcare.

“[HHS] expects to renew the Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19 before it expires. We have already renewed this PHE once,” Caputo said, according to Modern Healthcare.

The American Hospital Association and other provider groups have urged HHS to renew the distinction.
Some notable policies connected to the public health emergency include the Medicare inpatient 20% add-on payment for COVID-19 patients, increased federal Medicaid matching rates, requirements that insurers cover COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing and waivers of telehealth restrictions, Modern Healthcare reported. 

Even if HHS maintains the public health emergency, some changes the Trump administration has made to assist health care providers are dependent on a separate Stafford Act national emergency declaration staying active.