Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 Ending

May 10, 2023

On May 11, 2023 the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 ends. The emergency use authorization (EUA) for medical countermeasures for COVID-19 is separate from the PHE and its conclusion is yet to be determined.

The PHE allowed for federal cost sharing of many COVID-19 related services and treatments. Rules around telehealth and payment barriers were relaxed. With the PHE ending there will be some changes, but due to the diligent work of the OMA and partners, some things will remain in place.

What will change?

  • Workers in health care settings will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under state rules.
  • Cost sharing for at-home testing, testing-related services, and certain treatments will expire in most cases.
  • A five-day period of isolation for those infected with COVID-19 also will no longer be recommended for the general population, including people in K-12 education settings.
  • Reporting of COVID-19 laboratory results and immunization data to CDC will become voluntary, except for hospitals. Hospitals data reporting will continue as required by CMS condition of participation through April 30, 2024.
  • The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) adopted policies to allow practitioners to prescribe controlled substances to patients without an in-person interaction. The DEA initiated temporary rules, effective May 11, 2023, through November 11, 2023, that will extend some flexibilities under certain circumstances.

What will remain unchanged?

Early in the pandemic, OMA advocated with the Governor’s office and state agencies to ensure that as in-office visits moved to virtual visits clinicians would be paid the in-office rate.  Knowing that even as the pandemic would end, telemedicine was not going to, OMA worked with legislators to extend this payment policy permanently. 

Commercial health insurers will still be required to reimburse out-of-network providers for COVID-19 vaccines.

Resources for additional information:

Oregon Health Authority Toolkit for Community Partners

ORS 743A.058. Oregon Telehealth

There was a bill in 2021 session to expand coverage for telemedicine in HB 2508.

DEA Telemedicine Flexibilities Extension

Kaiser Family Foundation factsheet

What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access | KFF

Federal Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Transition Roadmap |