March 31, 2023

PHE Waivers Remain Until May 11

On March 29, the Senate joined the House in approving a resolution to end the COVID National Emergency. Waiver flexibilities authorized under the Public Health Emergency (PHE) will not end a month earlier than planned; these waivers will end at the end of the PHE on May 11, as planned and previously announced.

LeadingAge asked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staff on March 30 whether the Congressionally-approved resolution, if the President signs it as expected, would mean waiver flexibilities will also end. The waivers LeadingAge members are concerned about (including but not limited to the 3-day hospital stay waiver, home health therapy assessment waivers, and hospice volunteer requirement waiver) are connected to the PHE, not the COVID National Emergency.

Regarding the 3-day hospital stay waiver, LeadingAge has written to the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to leaders in Congress seeking changes to extend the waiver or eliminate the requirement. We are working with HHS and Congress to continue to press to eliminate this outdated, unnecessary policy.

Regarding home health therapy assessments, LeadingAge will advocate for their continuation with Congress. We have asked CMS to clarify the rules around the use of telehealth in routine home care for hospices and to use enforcement discretion as hospices ramp back up to full volunteer loads.