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End of the Public Health Emergency- What does this mean for you?

On January 30, 2023 The White House announced the intent to end the national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) related to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, 2023. This concludes the use of existing PHE waivers and has left many SNF providers questioning what this means for their facility operations. Our specialists at Engage Consulting have summarized key changes and dates for facility leaders so they can effectively prepare for

new operating practices.

End of Waivers

SNFs have become accustomed to the current PHE waivers as common practice over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ending of the PHE will result in changes to current practice with use of the waivers. The COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers document gives us some insight on when we can expect these waivers to end. A link to this document, last updated on 10/13/22 can be found HERE.

  • The most notable impact will be the termination of the three-day hospital stay waiver and the 100-day benefit period waiver, which are both currently set to expire at the time of the PHE ending. We should expect to receive further clarification on what this means for residents who are admitted under this waiver that extend their skilled stay past 5/11/23.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth waivers including the allowance of physical, occupational and speech therapy services to be delivered via telehealth have been widely used. There is currently conflicting information on when these waivers will end which states either 151 days after the end of the PHE (10/9/23) (according to the CMS document referenced above) or ending 12/31/23 (according to the approved CMS therapy telehealth code list).

  • Some additional waivers that have been in place will come to an end on 5/11/23 and include but are not limited to:

    • Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) requirements

    • Waiver of room change notice requirements

    • Requirements related to resident transfers

    • Sharing information and assisting families/residents in selecting post-acute care providers

Prepare for the Future

2023 is going to be a year of change for SNF providers. Between the ending of the COVID-19 PHE waivers and the looming MDS changes that are expected to occur on 10/1/23, it is essential to keep your IDT informed.

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