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  • Washington Highlights

    HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration


    Katherine Cruz, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    On Oct. 13, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that the HHS is renewing the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration. The emergency declaration was originally set to expire on Oct. 15 but will now last for up to an additional 90 days. The HHS has stated that it will provide states and territories with a 60-day notice prior to the termination of the COVID-19 PHE declaration.

    “We know there’s more work to do with real challenges ahead of us as we head into the fall and winter and the holidays. We’re doing everything we can as an administration to stay ahead of this virus,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, said in a White House briefing on Tuesday.

    The declaration allows for the continued use of waivers from certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements and other flexibilities, including easing pre-pandemic telehealth requirements to allow for greater access to care.

    Earlier this year, the AAMC joined other hospital and health system organizations in a letter to Becerra highlighting the importance of the critical waivers and flexibilities allowed during the emergency declaration and urging him to renew the PHE [refer to Washington Highlights, April 1].