Healthcare facilities will need to make adjustments to ensure financial health.
The end of COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and national emergency on May 11 is likely to have significant effects on healthcare and healthcare providers in the United States. It could signal a major shift in the response to the pandemic, and may have far-reaching consequences.
One immediate effect could be a decrease in funding for COVID-19-related activities. The federal government has provided significant funding for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination efforts. With the end of the emergency status, however, this funding may be reduced, potentially impacting the ability of healthcare providers to provide such services to their patients. This could lead to increased costs for patients and providers, as well as potential delays in care.
On the other hand, throughout the pandemic, healthcare providers have had to deal with significant financial costs associated with treating COVID-19 patients. The costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), increased staffing needs, and a decrease in revenue due to canceled procedures and appointments have all put a strain on healthcare budgets.
The end of the emergency status will provide some relief to healthcare providers, but they will still need to find ways to recover from the financial losses of the pandemic.
Another challenge for healthcare will be addressing the backlog of non-COVID-related procedures and appointments that have been postponed or canceled due to the pandemic. Many patients have been forced to delay critical treatments and procedures, such as cancer screenings and surgeries, due to the strain on healthcare resources. As a result, healthcare providers will need to work quickly to ensure that patients receive the care they need as soon as possible.
During the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allowed hospitals to make wider use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants when caring for Medicare patients. With this also ending, hospitals could face challenges meeting patient needs.
The end of the emergency status could also have implications for healthcare providers’ liability protections. Currently, many healthcare providers are protected from liability for certain actions taken in response to the pandemic under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. However, these liability protections may now be lifted, potentially exposing providers to legal action related to their COVID-19 response efforts.
Finally, the end of the emergency status will also bring changes to healthcare regulations and policies. Many of the emergency regulations put in place to address the pandemic will likely be lifted or modified, and healthcare providers will need to adjust to these changes. For example, regulations governing PPE use, COVID-19 testing, and vaccination requirements may change.
Programming note: Listen to Lidiya Ter-Markarova report this story live today during Talk Ten Tuesdays with Chuck Buck and Dr. Erica Remer, 10 Eastern.