Capitol Correspondence - 02.14.23

Administration Releases More Resources Related to the Public Health Emergency Unwinding

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Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) held a webinar on “Unwinding Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Public Health Emergency (PHE) Flexibilities.” The webinar reviewed the use of Appendix Ks, Medicaid Disaster Relief state plan amendments and 1135 waivers. During the question-and-answer session, participants asked a series of questions regarding the implications of terminating flexibilities while the American Rescue Plan Act maintenance of effort requirements are in place.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also released a fact sheet briefly summarizing the impact of end of the PHE on COVID-19 treatments, testing, and response, as well as on Medicare and Medicaid services.

The fact sheet noted: “For Medicaid, some additional COVID-19 PHE waivers and flexibilities will end on May 11, while others will remain in place for six months following the end of the PHE. But many of the Medicaid waivers and flexibilities, including those that support home and community-based services, are available for states to continue beyond the PHE, if they choose to do so. For example, states have used COVID-19 PHE-related flexibilities to increase the number of individuals served under a waiver, expand provider qualifications, and other flexibilities. Many of these options may be extended beyond the PHE.”

ANCOR will be providing additional summaries of the materials and answers to many of the questions ANCOR members may have. We will post additional unwinding information soon.