HHS Extends COVID-19 PHE

The public health emergency, as well as the regulatory relaxations associated with it, will continue for another 90 days.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra has declared that he will renew the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for another 90 days.

The renewal became effective on April 21 and expires on July 20.

The extension will perpetuate key policy relaxations and relief programs in effect, including:

  • Medicare 75/25 blended rate for non-rural/non-bid suppliers (according to analysis from the American Association for Homecare, these areas are receiving rate increases of about 30 percent overall).
  • A 6.2 percent increase in Medicaid FMAP match will remain in effect though the end of the quarter the PHE expires, so this relief for state Medicaid agencies will run through at least March 2021.
  • A waiver of face-to-face requirements for many product, as well as allowing the use of telehealth for power mobility face-to-face requirement.
  • NCD/LCD flexibility allowing expanded use of home-based respiratory products/therapy, as well as infusion and anticoagulation devices.
  • State Medicaid waivers and flexibilities tied to the PHE.

Former HHS Secretary Alex Azar made the original PHE determination on Jan. 31, 2020 and renewed it on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, Oct. 2, 2020 and Jan. 7, 2021.

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Podcast: COVID-19 Lessons From a Policies and Procedures POV