Secretary Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for an additional 90 days. Effective April 16, 2022, this extension marks the continuation of several temporary authorities afforded under the PHE. Read a summary outlining the Medicare- and Medicaid-specific flexibilities afforded under the COVID-19 PHE.
The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. It has been renewed each quarter since and was due to expire on April 16, 2020. HHS said in a statement that it was extending the public health emergency and that it will give states 60 days' notice prior to termination or expiration. It has been speculated that this may be the last extension of the PHE.
This renewal extends the wide array of waivers and flexibilities that have been issued by HHS in response to COVID-19, including the scale-up of telehealth visits, emergency approval of new drugs and tests, and new flexibility for government-run health insurance programs.