Biden administration extends COVID public health emergency
The COVID-19 public health emergency will be extended for another 90 days, maintaining a long set of Trump-era allowances and programs affecting much of U.S. health care.
Why it matters: When the emergency does end, it will bring major policy shifts to insurance markets, drug approvals and telehealth.
- But the Biden administration is likely to face pressure to lift the emergency from newly ascendant House Republicans, who have already announced investigations into the U.S. COVID response, the Washington Post reported.
Yes, but: Some flexibilities, such as those for Medicare telehealth created under the public health emergency (PHE), were extended by the year-end spending deal for two years. The provisions had already been extended for 151 days after the end of the emergency.
What to watch: The United States Department of Health and Human Services has pledged it would give states and health providers 60 days' notice before the emergency expires or is terminated, officials said.
- Administration officials declined to comment on whether this would be the final extension.
- "The decision to terminate the COVID PHE will be made by the HHS secretary based on the best available data and science," an administration official told Axios. "Any suggestion that a specific end date has been established is untrue."