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Federal Public Health Emergency Updates for 2023

January 11, 2023

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must renew the federal public health emergency (PHE) related to COVID-19 every 90 days to maintain certain health care flexibilities and waivers. The PHE has been in place since January 27, 2020, and renewed throughout the pandemic. The latest HHS extension for the PHE is effective through April 11, 2023.

In a letter to the state Governors, the Administration has pledged to give at least a 60-day notice before the PHE ends. In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328), extends the authority for audiologists and speech-language pathologists to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries and continues waivers of geographic and originating site restrictions through December 31, 2024.

Background

With each PHE extension, numerous flexibilities and waivers remain in effect, including Medicare telehealth coverage of audiology and speech-language pathology services and relaxed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.

Clinicians should be aware that states may have different dates for ending local PHEs. This means that temporary state licensing, Medicaid, commercial insurance, and local education agency expansions and flexibilities could end at different times than the federal PHE. It is important to check with your state and payers to ensure compliance with changing laws, regulations, and coverage guidelines.

ASHA will post updates on the status of the PHE to this page and will advocate for another 90-day extension if circumstances warrant. 

Questions?

ASHA provides information regarding coverage of telepractice services during the COVID-19 pandemic and what to expect at the end of the federal PHE. Contact reimbursement@asha.org for additional information.


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