CHA News

President Trump Declares National Emergency

For CEOs, government relations executives

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President Trump today declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration is retroactive to March 1 and allows the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid, state Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rule throughout the duration of the emergency. Details of the waiver under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act are not yet available, although during the President’s press conference, he mentioned expanding telehealth; waiving the critical access hospital bed limit and length-of-stay requirement; and waiving the requirement for a three-day hospital stay prior to reimbursing skilled-nursing facility services.

HHS Secretary Azar released a statement that his agency is “identifying every flexibility we can offer and any obstacle we can eliminate to help those on the frontlines protect Americans from this outbreak.” CHA will provide additional details as soon as more information is released.