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HHS Renews Public Health Emergency Declaration

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took action to extend the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for another 90 days, effective April 21, 2021.

The PHE will now be in place until July 20, and the Section 1135 emergency blanket waivers for nursing facilities will continue over that time unless CMS terminates explicitly one or more of the waivers before that date.

As a reminder, CMS announced in QSO-21-17-NH the termination of four emergency blanket waivers effective May 10 relating to notifying residents of transfer, discharge, and changes in rooms/roommates; completion of a baseline care plan and comprehensive care plan within 48 hours and seven days of admission to the facility, respectively; and timeframe requirements for completing and transmitting MDS resident assessment information. For a more in-depth summary, see this Advantage story from last week.

The waivers listed in QSO-21-NH are the only waivers CMS is terminating at this time. All other federal blanket waivers, including the 3-day stay (Qualifying Hospital Stay) waiver, remain in effect until further notice from CMS.

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