Coronavirus News

HHS Expects to Renew Public Health Emergency

While the Public Health Emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 is set to expire on July 25, 2020, on June 29th, an HHS spokesperson confirmed that HHS intends to renew it.  Amidst growing concerns that it may expire, the American Hospital Association sent a letter to the Secretary of HHS urging renewal.  In response, Michael R. Caputo, HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, tweeted:  “Enough already. [HHS] expects to renew the Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19 before it expires.”

Providers also expressed concerns about how to calculate expected lost revenues and increased costs “during the COVID-19 PHE” for purposes of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund grants.  According to a Modern Healthcare story  (accessible only to subscribers), an HHS spokesperson responded that the term “during the COVID-19 PHE” was not meant to be restrictive and may not be limited to the official PHE dates.  In addition, according to a March 31, 2020 FEMA Memo, providers can submit Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) to FEMA for 30 days after the end of the declaration of the PHE.

The PHE, which lasts for 90 days, was originally declared on January 31, 2020, and renewed once already on April 26th.