President Biden announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), which took effect March 2020 under President Trump and has been renewed several times since then, will be lifted May 11. The announcement comes as the U.S. House of Representatives voted on measures to terminate the COVID-19 emergency just days later. The administration announced its plan to wind down the emergency in response to the House measures, which would have abruptly ended the declarations.
The statement specifically notes that “an abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the healthcare system — for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices, and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans.” The wind-down is critical to ensure that patients do not lose access to care and provide stability to state budgets.
Congress has already extended some of the flexibilities tied to the PHE, including expanded Medicare and high-deductible health plan telehealth access, and hospital-at-home care.
The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) will continue to monitor the PHE wind-down and any new policies developed to extend current flexibilities. If you have any questions, email Ashley Walton, ACR Director of Government Affairs.