Public Health Emergency expected to be extended

HHS did not notify the public by the May 16 deadline that it will be ending.

HHS had a deadline of May 16 to notify the public that the Public Health Emergency would end in 60 days. Because the deadline has come and gone with no word, it is expected that the PHE will be extended past the current July 16 end date, but how far is unknown.

The American Medical Association in conjunction with the American Nurses Association and the American Hospital Association wrote Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra lobbying for another renewal.

Becerra told health care leaders after the first extension that he would give them a 60-day warning if it will not be renewed.

The PHE removed many barriers to telehealth, allowing Medicare reimbursement and elimination of various site and security requirements, giving doctors and patients the ability to use whatever technology they had access to. While the Biden administration has pushed to make some of these changes permanent, congressional action is required.

While much of the country has moved on as if the pandemic was over, the CDC shows a rising number of cases in recent weeks, with a rise in hospitalizations, as well. These rising numbers concern the professional medical groups, who point out that new variants may emerge that strain hospital and health systems.