National Provider Groups Ask Biden for Summit to Address Crowded Emergency Rooms as Biden Administration Signals it will Continue PHE into Spring of 2023
On Nov. 7, a coalition of nearly three dozen national health care provider groups penned a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to convene a summit to identify solutions aimed at easing persistent crowding in hospital emergency rooms. The letter highlighted the impact of the sustained health care workforce shortage on an already overburdened health care system that is struggling to find open beds in hospitals and nursing homes, leading to patients getting backed up in emergency rooms while they wait for a bed to open.
WHA has been advocating for continued flexibility for hospitals as they deal with this continued crisis of the lack of capacity in the health care system to meet patient demand. Hospitals have had unprecedented flexibilities as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including waivers for telehealth, Critical Access Hospital length-of-stay waivers, and the waiver of the nursing home 3-day rule.
While the current PHE emergency declaration goes through mid-January of 2023, the Biden administration has stated it will provide 60-days' notice in advance of allowing the PHE to expire. Since the administration did not provide notice by mid-November, the PHE should be extended again in January and would go until at least April 11, 2023.