Trump Administration Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced in a Friday afternoon tweet the extension of the current COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This is the third time Secretary Azar is extending the emergency declaration which must be renewed every 90 days.
The PHE renewal comes nearly three weeks before the current declaration was set to end, helping provide certainty to local health officials and healthcare professionals who continue to battle the virus in our communities. For the HME industry, the PHE renewal means the extension of non-rural rates among other CMS waivers and possibly other emergency policies that may have been adopted by Medicaid programs and commercial payers.
The renewal will take effect Oct. 23 and the emergency declaration is now scheduled to lapse right after the next presidential inauguration in January 2021.