Hospitals push for PHE extension into 2023

The Federation of American Hospitals, which represents investor-owned or managed hospitals, is urging HHS "in the strongest terms possible" to renew the COVID-19 public health emergency through 2023.

"While we all long for the day when we can declare the emergency over, that day is not

yet in sight for America's hospitals," FAH CEO Chip Kahn wrote in his July 27 letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Mr. Kahn urged HHS to not only renew the PHE for another 90 days by its current deadline of Oct. 13, but to "send a clear signal that an additional 90-day extension may be necessary."

"This is critical to prevent unintended consequences to our healthcare system that would result from seeking shortcuts to a smooth and responsible transition out of the sustained COVID-19 crisis," Mr. Kahn wrote. 

In his letter, he also bulleted more than 25 PHE waivers and other policies that he urges CMS to make permanent. 

FAH represents the largest for-profit hospital chains in the country: HCA Healthcare, Tenet Health, Community Health Systems, Prime Healthcare, Universal Health Services and Ardent Health Services, among others. 

Hospitals and HHS face long-standing political pressure to wind down the pandemic-born flexibilities for people, providers and federal health programs. Congressional Republicans have been urging President Joe Biden and Mr. Becerra to end the declaration since February. 

For an overview of the flexibilities tied to the PHE and what occurs when the declaration ends, check out a comprehensive brief from Kaiser Family Foundation here.


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