The Secretary of Health and Human Services officially renewed the status of the Public Health Emergency Beyond July 25th, 2020
On July 25, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services released a declaration of renewal of the National Public Health Emergency which will be in effect for the next 90 days. This declaration renews those changes that have been made as a result of the initial declaration in January 2020.
This declaration was released from Secretary Alex Azar:
As a result of the continued consequences of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective July 25, 2020, my January 31, 2020, determination that I previously renewed on April 21, 2020, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.
Some of the rule changes that skilled nursing facilities have been utilizing for the past few months include those created by the 1135 Waiver and other rule making, such as:
- Medicare Part A 3 Night Inpatient Stay Waiver
- Medicare Part A 60 Day Benefit Period Waiver
- MDS Submission Deadline Relaxation
- Telehealth for Medicare Part A (though not billed as true telehealth)
- Telehealth for Medicare Part B
- Skilled Maintenance Therapy Provided by PTA’s and C/OTA’s for Part B
You can catch up on all the details of the above changes with these articles:
- 3 Day Stay and 60 Day Benefit Period
- Assistants Providing Part B Skilled Maintenance Therapy
- Telehealth for SNF Part B
We can expect CMS direction on the status of the PHE in late October, when it will either be renewed or expire.
For continued updates on COVID-19 changes impacting SNF therapy, visit our COVID-19 SNF Resource Page.
As always, if you have any questions, please send them to our Just Ask Q&A Forum and we will be glad to help you.
In Your Corner,
Dolores Montero, PT, DPT, RAC-CT, RAC-CTA
SNF Rehab & MDS Compliance Team