October 14, 2022
U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for an additional 90 days, effective October 13, 2022. As the U.S. braces for a spike in cases this winter, the public health emergency will continue through at least January 11, 2023.
When a decision is made to terminate the declaration or let it expire, the HHS has said the agency will provide 60 days’ notice prior to termination.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, through California Medical Association (CMA) advocacy, both public and private health plans expanded their coverage and reimbursement for services provided via telehealth. As long as the nation continues to be in a public health emergency, all of these policies remain in effect.
Congress also recently extended the current COVID-19 pandemic telehealth waivers for five months beyond the end of the public health emergency.
Policymakers at the state and federal level are making decisions that will shape the future of telehealth for years to come. CMA published a Telehealth Policy Update that summarizes what has already been done and provides some next steps that physicians can watch for throughout 2022.