Skip To Content

July 24, 2020

Trone, Maryland Delegation Secure Extension of Public Health Emergency, Allow Critical Federal Aid to Continue Flowing to Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov 

 

Trone, Maryland Delegation Secure Extension of Public Health Emergency, Allow Critical Federal Aid to Continue Flowing to Maryland

 

Washington – Today, U.S. Congressman David Trone (MD-06) announced that U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar renewed the COVID-19 national public health emergency declaration, which was set to expire on July 25th. Last week, Trone led the Maryland Congressional delegation in urging Azar to extend the public health emergency, which would allow critical federal aid to continue flowing to Maryland. 

“Ensuring everyone gets the health care they need during this pandemic should be our number one priority, and this extension of the public health emergency will allow Marylanders to continue receiving this critical care,” said Congressman David Trone. “Marylanders will now be able to continue accessing services like telehealth appointments that allow those with mental health and substance use disorders to continue receiving the care they need without being exposed to the coronavirus. I was proud to work with my Maryland colleagues to secure this important designation.”

 

A copy of the letter can be found below:

 

The lawmakers write: “Our constituents rely on many of the flexibilities enabled by the public health emergency declaration. The increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) is essential to Maryland’s ability to ramp up medical care during the pandemic. In addition, waivers to facilitate the provision of telehealth services have proven critical to providers and patients alike, as they allow for our constituents to be seen by medical providers to address other pressing health issues (including mental health and substance use disorder) without having to expose themselves to potential COVID-19 infection.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities across our state, and we cannot afford to slow our efforts to combat it,” continued the lawmakers. “Extending the public health emergency will ensure that Marylanders can access the resources they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis.”

 

A copy of the letter can be found below.

 

July 16, 2020

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20201

 

Dear Secretary Azar:

We write as Maryland’s congressional delegation to urge you to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency that is currently slated to expire on July 25, 2020. As the United States has hit new record numbers of new coronavirus cases in just the last week, with the largest single day increase in new infections (67,000) reported on Friday, it is clear that COVID-19 still represents a grave threat and continues to merit a public health emergency designation.

Our constituents rely on many of the flexibilities enabled by the public health emergency declaration. The increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) is essential to Maryland’s ability to ramp up medical care during the pandemic. In addition, waivers to facilitate the provision of telehealth services have proven critical to providers and patients alike, as they allow for our constituents to be seen by medical providers to address other pressing health issues (including mental health and substance use disorder) without having to expose themselves to potential COVID-19 infection. And while the 20% Medicare inpatient add-on does not directly impact Maryland hospitals, it helps hospitals in other states to maintain the heightened staffing and supply lines that are necessary to treat COVID-19 patients. 

These flexibilities have spurred innovation that will likely benefit our healthcare system in the long term. In the short term, however, they are absolutely necessary to the provision of medical care in Maryland and across the country. We have already begun hearing from constituents who are concerned that the emergency designation will expire, impeding their ability to access or provide healthcare. Please officially extend the public health emergency declaration as soon as possible. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

###