White House intends to end PHE on May 11
The Biden administration announced its intention to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) until May 11 and end it on that date. The current extension is set to expire on March 1, but the administration said it remains committed to providing at least 60 days' notice prior to the PHE termination.
By releasing this information on January 30, the White House said payers, healthcare providers, and patients will have time to prepare for the many changes that will coincide with the PHE termination.
“Hospitals and nursing homes that have relied on flexibilities enabled by the emergency declarations will be plunged into chaos without adequate time to retrain staff and establish new billing processes, likely leading to disruptions in care and payment delays,” said the White House statement. “Many facilities around the country will experience revenue losses.”
In particular, the White House emphasized how a sudden termination of the PHE could negatively affect telehealth. “The most acutely impacted would be individuals with behavioral health needs and rural patients,” said the statement.
Although the timeline of the PHE termination is not finalized, revenue integrity professionals must ensure their organization is prepared for the transition. Keep tabs on any communication regarding the PHE expiration. Review which waivers expire along with the PHE’s termination and which will remain in place for an additional 151 days.
Editor's note: See more NAHRI resources on COVID-19, including coding and coverage updates, here.