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PA Legislature Votes to End Emergency Declaration, Extend COVID-19 Regulatory Waivers and Flexibilities

June 10, 2021

Today, state lawmakers voted to end Pennsylvania’s emergency disaster declaration and to extend critical COVID-19 regulatory waivers and flexibilities until September 30, 2021.

After receiving House Resolution 106, which immediately ended the emergency declaration, the Senate moved to amend House Bill 854, sponsored by Representative Torren Ecker (R-Adams, Cumberland) to prevent an abrupt end to critical COVID-19 regulatory waivers and flexibilities. Pennsylvania Legislative Services reports that Governor Wolf has signed the bill to extend the COVID-19 waivers and flexibilities.

Extending the waivers and flexibilities until September 30, 2021 allows patients and providers to gradually resume normal procedure and prevents unnecessary confusion and access to care issues for patients. This also provides time to assess which waivers should be maintained permanently and to eliminate red tape—while maintaining innovations gained during the pandemic in telehealth and other areas.

Since last fall, HAP has urged lawmakers to keep the COVID-19 regulatory waivers and flexibilities in place after the pandemic ends, ensuring a smooth transition for health care providers and patients.

Per the constitutional amendments approved by the voters during May, the legislature can end an emergency declaration via concurrent resolution without the Governor’s approval. House Resolution 106 was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives. Most of the state’s public health mitigation orders expired on Memorial Day.

HAP will continue to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvania’s patients and the hospital community as the General Assembly and the Wolf Administration discuss their next steps.

For more information, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Warren Kampf, HAP’s senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs.