As the Department of Health and Human Services prepares to end the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, the American Hospital Association (AHA) recommended the agency take immediate actions to help ensure care remains available to patients when and where they need it; support the healthcare workforce as they continue to shoulder a disproportionate amount of strain; and remove unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens that prevent providers from modernizing care delivery while adding cost and friction in the healthcare system.
“The recent decision to sunset the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) is a testament to the progress we have made; however, as we prepare for that transition, we should not revert to care delivery as it was prior to the pandemic,” the letter states. “Instead let us build on the lessons we have learned and the advancements in care delivery and access we have made. Let us use this crisis to create a more effective, equitable, patient-focused and stable healthcare system.”
Specifically, the AHA recommends the HHS make permanent many PHE policies that enabled hospitals and healthcare systems to deliver care more effectively and efficiently; ensure the Medicaid redetermination process protects coverage and care for vulnerable individuals; revise certain hospital Conditions of Participation and HHS emergency preparedness plans so hospitals and health systems can innovate in ways that improve healthcare quality and access and adequately prepare for the next national emergency.