On September 18th, President Joe Biden called the COVID pandemic over in a particular segment on 60 Minutes. Biden made this announcement stating, “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work…but the pandemic is over.” The President supported the decision with examples of a decrease in mask use among the public and the improvement of the community’s general health. 

So, after three years of living with the dread of the virus, this declaration will surely bring a sense of comfort to most people. But as the rest of the world sighs in relief, some may wonder what this decision means for their healthcare. 

With the gravity of this decision, many healthcare plans and providers are bound to be affected, especially when it comes to post-acute long-term care. In this post, we’ll dive deeply into the ripple effects of ending the pandemic and how it will affect the COVID Public Health Emergency system

  

 

Planned Closure For The Public Health Emergency 

Just last month, the Biden administration extended the public health emergency declaration for COVID through October 13th, fulfilling his promise to give both states and healthcare providers a full 60 days’ notice before the fund ended. This, in turn, would cause significant policy shifts for insurance markets, drug approvals, and telehealth. Lifting the emergency would also leave states to determine whether their Medicaid enrollees are still eligible for coverage. These consequences could leave millions of Americans being removed from the program entirely, leaving them without the proper care and coverage. 

As the ending of this emergency funding looms ahead, many are struggling to figure out their future and how they will receive coverage once it is all said and done. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have created a detailed roadmap for the end of the Public Health Emergency, allowing many to know where they stand with their healthcare providers. 

    Physician Fee Schedule Changes In Telehealth

    Just last month, the Biden administration extended the public health emergency declaration for COVID through October 13th, fulfilling his promise to give both states and healthcare providers a full 60 days’ notice before the fund ended. This, in turn, would cause significant policy shifts for insurance markets, drug approvals, and telehealth. Lifting the emergency would also leave states to determine whether their Medicaid enrollees are still eligible for coverage. These consequences could leave millions of Americans being removed from the program entirely, leaving them without the proper care and coverage. 

    As the ending of this emergency funding looms ahead, many are struggling to figure out their future and how they will receive coverage once it is all said and done. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have created a detailed roadmap for the end of the Public Health Emergency, allowing many to know where they stand with their healthcare providers. 

    Possible Extension For The Public Health Emergency

    Even as October 13th edges closer and closer, more and more healthcare providers are demanding the deadline be extended another 90 days, resulting in a final deadline early next year in January. This would give providers and patients alike more time to prepare for the implications of ending this emergency fund. But this extension could possibly come with some special significance. Certain flexibilities within the CMS and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are due to expire in the year in which the PHE ends. This means that if the PHE is stretched to next year, even if it’s just till January, these aforementioned flexibilities could be extended for an additional year.

    Effects On Long-Term Care and Telemedicine 

    It should come as no surprise that the pandemic has drastically altered how healthcare is given and received. From advances in telemedicine to implementations in virtual appointments, Covid-19 has changed the very way health is provided. Over the course of the pandemic, our platforms, such as SNFConnect and The SNFist™ Suite of Solutions, played pivotal roles in providing care for long-term care patients. Along with our systems, Saisystems Health has provided the proper knowledge during the pandemic to keep long-term care facilities updated with all the latest industry news and trends. 

    For more information on telemedicine and how Covid-19 has affected it, check out our blog post here

    Public Health Emergency Update Wrapped-Up 

    With President Biden signaling the end of the pandemic, significant changes are right around the corner. And as the virus dies down and the pandemic ends, the Public Health Emergency will cease to be starting on October 13th, and many will be out of coverage. However, the PHE could be granted another extension that would push the expiration date to mid-January. 

    For further resources on the PHE and other Covid-related topics, make sure to check out our blog page

     

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