The Covid-19 Public Health Emergency has been extended for an additional 90 days after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra signed off on the extension late last week.
This is the eighth time the declaration has been extended since it was first announced Jan. 27, 2020. This latest renewal is effective as of Jan. 16, 2022.
The decision means billing and testing waivers put in place under the CARES Act and Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. For example, payers are currently required to reimburse for Covid-19 testing service when performed for the purpose of individual diagnoses, regardless of medical necessity. There are also a host of other restrictions that bar cost-sharing for testing, vaccination and some other Covid-related treatments.
While there is some concern amongst providers over what will happen to care flexibilities once the emergency is allowed to expire, the Biden Administration has pledged to give states at least 60 days’ notice when they decide not to renew it further.