The COVID-19 Federal Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) is scheduled to end on May 11, 2023. With the end of the PHE, a number of the federal and New York state agencies’ regulatory flexibilities put into effect during the PHE will end. The phase-out dates vary across agencies, regulations and programs.
Since the flexibilities included, among other things, regulatory enforcement, program requirements and conditions, and funding/eligibility reductions, it is critical to assess what flexibilities will end and when, so providers can continue to meet their respective program requirements and minimize exposure on post-PHE audits and surveys.
The New York State Office of Mental Health (“OMH”) includes guidance on its website. Among the items posted is the March 13, 2023, Memorandum, Impact of the end of the Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) on the OMH System. This provides a summary of areas to be impacted by the end of the PHE, including:
- Documentation for all medically necessary services
- Resumption of Utilization Review requirements
- Billing Standards – cessation of use of the CR modifier
- HIPAA Enforcement to resume
- Hospital Conditions of Participation waivers ending
- Program Specific Guidance for Community-Based Services is outlined
- Program Specific Guidance for Residential Services is outlined.
The link above is for OMH programs only. In planning how to operate in a post-PHE environment, providers should consider the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency guidance and other federal and state directives and guidance applicable to their operations. Please note a number of the guidance documents will be removed from the OMH website at the end of the PHE.
This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.
Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.