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HHS Indicates An Additional Extension To PHE

On Monday, June 29, HHS Spokesperson Michael Caputo tweeted “…@HHSGov expects to renew the Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19 before it expires. We have already renewed this PHE once…” The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (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. The COVID-19 was already renewed once in April, and that 90 day extension would be set to expire on or around July 25. The tweet from Mr. Caputo indicates that HHS does indeed intend to extend the COVID-19 PHE for another 90 days before it expires at the end of July. There are several provisions tied to the duration of the PHE that will continue due to the extension of the PHE, including:

  1. Medicare’s 25/75 blended rates for non-rural, non-CBA areas
  2. An increase to the federal government’s matching funds for Medicaid programs (6.2% increase)
  3. ACO shared loss paybacks to CMS
  4. COVID-19 testing at no cost to the patient
  5. Waivers of certain telehealth restrictions

The extension has not been officially posted to the HHS website, but VGM will continue to keep you updated on this and other topics related to COVID-19 at www.vgm.com/coronavirus.