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CMS Urges Providers to Prepare for End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging providers to prepare for the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and the related emergency authority waivers, regulations, enforcement discretion, and sub-regulatory guidance that have given them the flexibilities needed to respond to the COVID-19 PHE.  

CMS encourages providers to prepare for the end of these flexibilities as soon as possible and to begin to re-establish previous health and safety standards and billing practices. 

CMS issued a roadmap for the eventual end of the Medicare PHE waivers and flexibilities and released fact sheets, detailed by setting, that will help providers transition to operations once the PHE ends. CMS maintained a list of COVID-19 waivers throughout the PHE, but unless otherwise specified in the fact sheets, these waivers will end with the PHE.  

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continues to assert that it will provide states with at least 60 days’ notice prior to the termination or expiration of the PHE in the future. The current declaration is set to expire on Oct. 13 — because the administration did not provide notice within 60 days of that date, it is widely expected the PHE will be extended for an additional 90-day period until Jan. 11, 2023.