On January 30, 2023, the Biden administration announced the anticipated ending of the Public Health Emergency declarations. These declarations are set to expire on May 11, 2023. Due to heavy reliance on 1135 waivers throughout the time that the emergency extended, the ending of the Public Health Emergency will have a large impact on hospitals. 1135 waivers are used to waive various administrative requirements to increase access to medical services during a time of national emergency. Now that the emergency is coming to an end, healthcare entities should take steps to ensure their compliance with laws and regulations while returning to normal operations.
It will be important for hospitals to review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulations and standards that will be changing and to update these policies if necessary. It is important to note that some waivers end at the conclusion of the Public Health Emergency, while others end 151 days following the conclusion of the Public Health Emergency.
Prior to May 11th, administration and leaders in each department throughout hospitals should be asked the following questions in order to ensure that they are prepared for the coming changes:
- Is your department currently relying on any waivers that are still in effect?
- Is your department currently relying on any waivers that have expired?
- Has your department developed a plan and sent out communications to wind down any reliance on waivers by the expiration date?
- Does your department understand state laws in areas that will be affected when waivers default back to state laws after expiration?
CMS and others have released guidance on the current 1135 waivers and on the end of the Public Health Emergency in order to help prepare practices. For hospitals that are highly reliant on 1135 waivers, this guidance will be key to preparing for a return to normal operations.
If you have questions about these updates or requirements, please reach out to us for more information. Contact Anna Hensley, CPA, Healthcare Services Consultant, at ahensley@ deandorton.com | 859.425.7622.