PHE Renewed Through Mid-Summer
On April 12, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services released a declaration of renewal of the National Public Health Emergency (PHE) which will be in effect for another 90 days, starting April 16th, ending July 15th. This declaration renews for the 9th time, those changes that have been made as a result of the initial declaration in January 2020, and subsequent renewals on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, January 7, 2021, April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021 and January 14, 2022.
This declaration was released by HHS Secretary, Xavier Becerra:
What Waivers Will Expire May 7 and June 6?
CMS announced last week that even though the PHE may be renewed, waivers will start to be phased out over the next few months, in order of CMS priority. This priority is based on findings from onsite surveys revealing significant concerns with resident care , including abuse, weight-loss, depression and pressure ulcers. CMS states that these negative outcomes can be attributed to the length of time some waivers have been in place, and now seeks to restore the standards for quality care by starting to phase out some temporary emergency declaration waivers.
What Can Be Expected Next?
The remaining pieces of the waiver, in particular, the Qualifying Hospital Stay and Benefit Period waivers, may or may not make it until the end of the PHE. It is possible that CMS may continue to terminate portions of the Waiver over the next 90 days, so we will need to keep an eye out for an early termination of the remaining components.
A very possible scenario may be the termination of waiver portions in May and June as planned, with the expiration of all remaining portions when the PHE is naturally set to expire July 15th. Time will tell!
As always, thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the geriatric population.
If you have any questions, send them in via the Just Ask Q&A tab.
In Your Corner,
Dolores Montero, PT, DPT, RAC-CT, RAC-CTA
SNF Therapy & MDS Resource Team