The federal public health emergency (PHE) was renewed today by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, extending the PHE for an additional 90-days. Without today’s action, the PHE would have expired on January 16. This is the fourth extension of the PHE since it was first ordered by then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar in January 2020.
The PHE provides additional flexibility for health care providers, such as telehealth services and other waivers. It is expected that the PHE will be renewed for additional 90-day periods as needed. There are several legislative proposals under consideration to permanently extend, through statute, some of the flexibilities that are available through the PHE so they will still be in place when the PHE is allowed to lapse, and today’s extension will allow lawmakers to review these proposals.