WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2020)—As expected, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has announced the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has been extended for another 90 days, effective July 25.

The extension means that the 75/25 blended rate for non-rural/non-bid suppliers authorized by the CARES Act will remain in effect through at least October 22. The 50/50 blended rate for rural suppliers also remains in effect through the end of this year or the end of the emergency, whichever is later, and the suspension of the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts granted in the CARES Act is still slated to continue through 2020.

The extension of the emergency also means that many of the regulatory flexibilities granted in the March 2020 COVID-19 IFR and through state Medicaid waivers, as well as those from other MCO/third party payers, will also remain in effect.

While the ultimate duration of the current emergency remains impossible to predict, the public health emergencies for Zika and H1N1 outbreaks lasted for 360 and 450 days, respectively.