HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra declares public health emergency for Georgia

Sept. 14, 2023

On Sept. 13, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the state of Georgia to address the health impacts of Hurricane Idalia. The declaration follows President Biden’s emergency declaration and gives the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) health care providers and suppliers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

“We will do everything in our power to assist Georgia officials with responding to the health impacts of Hurricane Idalia,” said Secretary Becerra. “At President Biden’s direction, we are working closely with state and local health authorities, as well as our partners across the federal government, and stand ready to provide additional public health and medical support.”

“With today’s declaration and waiver, HHS is helping ensure that residents of Georgia have continuous access to the care they need,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell. “We are working closely with state and local health authorities to provide federal support from ASPR as needed.”

In declaring the public health emergency and authorizing flexibilities for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, Secretary Becerra acted within his authority under the Public Health Service Act and Social Security Act. These actions and flexibilities are retroactive to August 30, 2023.

Additional information regarding Public Health Emergency declarations can be found at https://aspr.hhs.gov/legal/PHE/Pages/default.aspx.

HHS has the press release.

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