Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar yesterday declared a public health emergency in Florida as Hurricane Michael approaches, and waived or modified certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements to give health care providers and suppliers greater flexibility to meet emergency health needs. Additional blanket waivers will be issued today. HHS also has positioned about 125 personnel from the National Disaster Medical System, an incident management team and medical equipment to respond quickly to community medical needs, with another 100 or so ready to assist after the storm if needed. The powerful category 4 hurricane made landfall this afternoon at Mexico Beach along the Florida panhandle and is expected to move northeast across the southeastern United States tonight and Thursday. For additional hurricane preparedness resources, visit

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