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HHS Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On Monday, July 19, 2021, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced an extension of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extension will last another 90 days from July 20, 2021. The COVID-19 PHE was initially declared on January 31, 2020 (with acknowledgement that it has existed since January 27th). Any PHE declaration can only last for 90 days at a time, but can be extended or renewed. It has already been renewed multiple times. There are several provisions tied to the duration of the PHE that will remain in place due to the extension of the PHE, including:

  • Medicare’s 25/75 blended rates for non-rural, non-CBA areas
  • An increase to the federal government’s matching funds for Medicaid programs (approximately 6.2% increase)
  • ACO shared loss paybacks to CMS
  • COVID-19 testing at no cost to the patient
  • Waivers of certain telehealth restrictions and other policy changes or waivers

You can see the official announcement of the PHE extension here: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/COVID-19July2021.aspx

VGM will continue to keep you updated on this and other topics related to COVID-19 at www.vgm.com/coronavirus.