End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), originally declared in January 2020, brought flexibility, support, and provisions for physicians and their patients. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous emergency declarations were made, allowing specific flexibilities for different agencies.
There are two important dates for health care professionals approaching.
April 1, 2023: States can begin terminating Medicaid coverage for those no longer deemed eligible. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 delinked the Medicaid continuous coverage provision from the PHE. This does not mean that all people who have coverage through the Medicaid continuous coverage provision tied to the COVID-19 PHE will lose coverage on April 1. States will have 14 months to complete the redetermination process and will take different approaches to the unwinding process.
Learn more about the Medicaid unwinding and the role that health care professionals can play in ensuring access to coverage.
May 11, 2023: The COVID-19 PHE will end, bringing about changes to telehealth flexibilities, access to free COVID-19 tests, flexibilities in Medicare and Medicaid under emergency waivers, and data reporting requirements. FDA emergency authorization use for COVID-19-related products and access and coverage to free treatment and vaccines for COVID-19 is not tied to the May 11 date.
Summary of COVID-19 Emergency Declarations
- January 2020: The secretary of HHS declared a PHE, allowing the department to take specific measures in health programs and provide support for health care professionals.
- February 2020: The secretary of HHS issued an emergency declaration under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, enabling the secretary to allow emergency use authorization for medical responses to COVID-19. Medical responses include COVID-19 tests administered by health care professionals and individuals at home, treatments, and vaccines.
- March 2020: The president issued a national emergency declaration that allowed emergency authorities to activate and directed the secretary to exercise authority under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements related to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
- March 2020: The secretary of HHS issued a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The PREP Act provides liability immunity for activities related to COVID-19 medical countermeasures.
- CMS Physicians and Other Clinicians: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19
- CMS Fact Sheet: What Do I Need to Know? CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the Transition Forward from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- CMS FAQs on Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 PHE
- CMS Current Emergencies Web Page