HHS renews public health emergency for COVID-19
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has renewed the public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 effective April 21, 2021. This extension will continue all telehealth waivers and other flexibilities pursuant to the determination. As with previous determinations, the renewed PHE will end 90 days after its effective date on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, unless it is further extended. The Biden administration has previously indicated that it plans to continue extending the COVID-19 PHE at least for the remainder of 2021.
MGMA supports bill to remove PRF negative tax implications
MGMA and other leading healthcare organizations sent aletter of support to the sponsors of the Eliminating the Provider Relief Fund Tax Penalties Act (H.R. 2079). This bill would remove the negative tax implications for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) recipients by ensuring that the funds are not taxable, while maintaining that expenses tied to the funds are tax-deductible. PRF assistance is currently taxable. For more information on the PRF, see MGMA’s comprehensive resource.
MGMA to HHS: Extend the Next Generation ACO model
MGMA joined 12 other organizations in urging HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to extend the Next Generation ACO (NGACO) model through 2022. Without further action, the model will expire this year. However, in light of a recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that it does not intend to accept new applicants for the 2022 cohort of the Direct Contracting model, current NGACO participants will no longer have that as an option once this performance year ends. In addition to extending the NGACO model, the coalition urges HHS to create a permanent full risk ACO option for the future and reexamine its model evaluation reports.