The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for another 90 days.
The continued emergency announced by the government allows the flexibility established by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remain, such as the repeal of 1135 for certain medical regulations. These changes allowed the use of telehealth to meet in-person requirements, such as re-authorization by physicians.
“The clinical response to COVID-19 is still ongoing,” an HHS spokesperson recently told Hospice News in an email. “As HHS has committed in the past, we will provide 60 days’ notice before any termination or termination.”
In addition to telehealth, PHE allowed for the temporary removal of the requirement for an annual visit by a registered nurse or other skilled professional, supervision of each provider, and an annual assessment of the skills and abilities of all people who provide health care facilities. care, and vocational training and education.
CMS also temporarily waived the requirement for volunteers to provide at least 5% of patient care hours at a hospital.
But the benefits of telehealth are important to many health care providers. Established as a temporary measure to reduce social contact during the pandemic, telephone services have become increasingly important over the past two years. Both patients and providers depend on the number.
HHS has indicated that telehealth flexibility should be in place for five months after PHE ends. However, service providers and trade unions have been pushing the federal government for sustainability.
“We are working hard to ensure that some of the regulatory restrictions and waivers that were established in the law to survive the emergency,” President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Edo Banach told Hospice News Palliative Care. Conference in Chicago. “We can deal with some of the challenges that people in the state have in effective ways, and there are a lot of technical things that need to go beyond the emergency shutdown because it just makes sense.”
PHE’s reform comes at the height of the new strain of COVID-19, the magnitude of which has been difficult to measure.
Cases, deaths, and hospitalizations peaked in June and July, according to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. But the current situation does not tell the whole story.
Because government funding for testing has run out and home testing kits are widely available, the prevalence of infection is unknown. University of Washington researchers reported in early June that only 14% of cases were reported.