HHS yet again extends COVID-19 public health emergency, this time until April

The federal government has once again extended the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, continuing key provisions to help radiologists and other providers navigate the crisis.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the renewal on Thursday ahead of its expiration on Jan. 21. With this fourth iteration, the public health emergency will cover another 90 days, stretching into April.

“Our work to combat the virus will continue, as will our work to ensure a peaceful and orderly transition,” Azar tweeted on Jan. 7.

HHS last extended the public health emergency in October and this latest re-up will now push it past the yearlong mark. The American College of Radiology had advocated for previous renewals and promoted this latest one in a news email to its members Monday. Continuing the PHE has crucial implications for physicians related to telehealth, Medicare and Medicaid blanket waivers, and interim final rule policies.