In 2020, U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic that continued to ravage across the country, with cases rising up there was a need to further expedite the healthcare needs in all aspects. With the National Emergency declaration, there were a lot of conditions under the Social Security Act that were yielded temporarily such as punishment for noncompliance with certain HIPAA requirements, regulatory and statutory requirements, sanctions regarding self-referral of doctors and condition of participation requirements for facilities. Aside from that, the healthcare needs of people were expanded to cover Covid-19 tests, access to telehealth, drugs needed for Covid-19 treatment, vaccines, and additional aid and relief to medical needs. Both American people and Providers have benefitted from this declaration for the past years, and now Biden Administration just announced its extension until October 13, 2022.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their publication showing the increase of Covid-19 cases. According to said data, more than 50% of the population is living in a community with high risk level. Hence, anticipating the increase of healthcare needs.
“The Public Health Emergency declaration continues to provide us with tools and authorities needed to respond to the highly transmissible COVID-19 sub-variants that are currently circulating around the country, The PHE provides essential capabilities and flexibilities to hospitals to better care for patients, particularly if we were to see a significant increase in hospitalizations in the coming weeks. Without the PHE in place, we would be limited in our ability to provide broad and equitable access to lifesaving treatments through our Test to Treat initiative, for example, which relies on flexibility for telehealth and operations," the official said. "Not renewing the PHE would leave us with fewer tools to respond and mean more Americans would get severely ill and end up in the hospital.” - Official from Biden Administration