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  • The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, included $140 million in funding to support one of ACEP's top advocacy priorities –the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.” This critical funding, which ACEP helped secure, will support mental and behavioral health training for health care professionals, other health care providers, and first responders. ACEP is extremely pleased to report that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has started the process of distributing a portion of this funding through grants – just a few months after the American Rescue Plan was enacted. On July 16, HRSA announced the availability of $103 million through three separate grant programs. All three grants aim to reduce burnout and promote mental health among the health workforce.
  • On July 19, the HHS Secretary extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for another 90 days. It was currently set to expire on July 20, 2021, and the 90-day extension becomes effective on that date. Therefore, the PHE is now set to expire on October 18, 2021. Although the PHE can only be officially extended for 90 days at a time, HHS has already stated unofficially that that the PHE will likely last until the end of the calendar year. The extension of the PHE means that the waivers and flexibilities that CMS and other federal agencies have instituted to help health care practitioners and facilities respond to the pandemic will remain in place.
  • ACEP has drafted a comprehensive summary of the CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Proposed Regulation. Read the July 15th Regs & Eggs blog post for highlights of the reg.
  • On July 13, ACEP responded to a proposed reg related to the ACA Exchanges that would lengthen the annual open enrollment period and undo some of the regulatory changes finalized by the Trump Administration that allow states operating their own exchanges to circumvent certain ACA requirements.

 

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