April 12, 2023
End of COVID-19 National Emergency: Status of Medicare Supervision Rule Not Yet Finalized
On April 10, 2023, President Biden signed into law H.J.Res.7 which terminates the COVID-19 National Emergency declared in March 2020. This legislation passed the House in February and the Senate in March, leading to an earlier than intended end of the National Emergency, as the White House had previously announced plans to end both the National Emergency and the Public Health Emergency (PHE) on May 11, 2023.
The National Emergency is a declaration by the president that permits use of federal emergency response funds and grants additional powers to the Administration to address the emergency. The PHE is a declaration by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that allows the Secretary to make grants, enter contracts, and make temporary personnel available, among other authorizations.
The end of the COVID-19 National Emergency will not affect the separate COVID-19 PHE declared by the Secretary of HHS beginning in January 2020. The PHE has been renewed every 90 days and is scheduled to expire May 11, 2023. The President has indicated he will not renew the PHE in May.
The PHE includes emergency waivers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a full range of existing Medicare and Medicaid regulations, including the CMS Medicare anesthesia supervision requirement. To date, CMS has publicly indicated it intends for waiver of the supervision requirement to expire with the end of the PHE, a move strongly supported by ASA and its patient safety allies.
Over the recent months, ASA has meet with senior officials throughout the Biden Administration to highlight the patient safety implications of removing the supervision requirement.