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HHS Anticipates Public Health Emergency Will Last Through 2021

For CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs COOs, government relations staff

In a letter to governors dated Jan. 22, Acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Norris Cochran indicated the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will likely last through 2021. It was most recently renewed on Jan. 21, 2021, for an additional 90 days.  

In the letter, Acting Secretary Cochran announces that HHS will notify states 60 days before it intends to end the PHE declaration to provide states “predictability and stability.” The declaration of the COVID-19 PHE allows for the continuation of financial support and regulatory flexibility to states and providers that enables increased access to care. This includes the following key policies: 

  • 6.2 percentage point increase in the Medicaid Federal Matching Assistance Percentage  
  • Medicaid maintenance of effort requirements  
  • 20% Medicare add-on payment for COVID-19 discharges  
  • Medicare inpatient prospective payment system COVID-19 treatment add-on payment  
  • Medicare coverage of monoclonal antibodies approved under an emergency use authorization 
    • Coverage of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without cost sharing  
  • Medicare telehealth, Hospitals without Walls, physician supervision, and conditions of participation waivers