Capitol Correspondence - 08.23.22

CMS Announces New Resources on Ending the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency as Administration Indicates Declaration Extension

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On August 18, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several new resources to provide support for the termination of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). CMS’ Cross Cutting Initiative (CCI) aims to evaluate the CMS-issued blanket waivers and flexibilities and help health care providers, facilities, insurers, and other stakeholders prepare for the end of the PHE and return to normal health care standards and operational practices. The initiative will focus on assessing the need for continuing certain blanket waivers based on the current phase of the PHE, assessing which flexibilities would be most useful in a future PHE, and continuing to collaborate with federal partners and the health care industry to ensure that the system is prepared for addressing future emergencies.

The additional resources announced by CMS include a CCI Fact SheetCOVID-19 fact sheets for each provider type, and updates to the COVID-19 emergency declaration blanket waivers which makes clear which waivers will terminate at the end of the PHE declaration.

With no official notice of termination, it is expected that Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will sign another extension of the PHE declaration on October 15. The Biden administration has stated it will give at least 60 days’ notice prior to the termination of the PHE declaration.