After consulting with public health officials, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar signed a renewal of determination, effective July 25, that extends the current COVID-19 public health emergency by up to 90 days.

The public health emergency determination previously was renewed in April. The additional 90 days will come as a relief to many health care professionals and patients, as this extension will allow for continued implementation of policies outlined in existing waivers that have been implemented because of the pandemic, including waivers pertaining to telemedicine.

Additional details regarding the future of telemedicine are likely to be provided in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to release in the next few weeks. AASM staff will analyze the proposed rule and update the AASM membership on relevant proposals, including any potential changes to telemedicine implementation upon expiration of the public health emergency.

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