The public health emergency will likely remain in place through 2021, and the administration will give states 60 days’ notice before it decides to terminate the emergency or let it expire, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran said in a Jan. 22 letter to governors.
HHS recently renewed the emergency declaration for 90 days effective Jan. 21.
“Predictability and stability are important given the foundation and flexibilities offered to states that are tied to the designation of the PHE,” the letter states, noting that the designation allows the HHS secretary to waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule requirements. The temporary 6.2 percentage point increase in the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act also expires at the end of the quarter in which the PHE ends.
With the PHE extension, Cochran said states also can expect the continued use of other emergency authorities, including Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act declarations and emergency use authorizations for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.