CMS Unwinds Waivers as the COVID-19 PHE Comes to an End


At the onset of the COVID-19 PHE, CMS was permitted to issue several temporary emergency statutory and regulatory waivers to help providers appropriately respond to the pandemic. On May 1, 2023, the Secretary released a memo confirming that upon termination of the PHE on May 11, 2023, most all of the Section 1135 and related waivers enacted during the PHE would also terminate. This announcement also contained short summaries of the expirations of emergency waivers issued during the PHE related to long-term care (LTC) and acute and continuing care (ACC) providers. Certain regulations and policies will be modified to correspond with the end of the PHE. Others, such as the acute hospital and home initiative and telehealth flexibilities, have been extended to survive the end of the PHE and remain effective until December 31, 2023, or the dates otherwise mentioned. All affected providers and facilities are expected to comply with the new requirements according to the timeframes outlined by CMS.

CMS also highlighted a few areas in which it plans to use enforcement discretion to effectively extend regulatory flexibilities. Updated charts below summarize key waivers and the changes that take place at the end of the PHE on May 11, 2023.