Stakeholders expect PHE to be extended

Number of provisions are tied to PHE, including Medicare’s 25/75 blended reimbursement rates for non-rural, non-bid areas
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – It appears the Department of Health and Human Services will extend the current public health emergency.

Both AAHomecare and the VGM Group have pointed to a June 29 tweet posted by Michael Caputo, HHS assistant secretary for public affairs, that said: “HHS expects to renew the public health emergency due to COVID-19 before it expires. We have already renewed this PHE once.”

HHS first put the PHE in place on Jan. 27. It renewed the PHE on April 26 for another 90 days.

Renewing the PHE for a second time would likely extend the emergency through September.

There are several provisions that are tied to the duration of the PHE, including:

  • Medicare’s 25/75 blended reimbursement rates for non-rural, non-bid areas
  • Waivers of NCDs and LCDs that point to clinical indications for coverage for respiratory equipment, as well as face-to-face evaluations
  • Waivers of certain telehealth restrictions
  • A 6.2% increase to the federal government’s matching funds for Medicaid programs