FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2011
Contact: HHS Press Office
HHS Secretary Declares Public Health Emergency for North Dakota Flooding
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today declared a public health emergency for North Dakota in anticipation of Red River floods affecting the state. The action ensures beneficiaries of Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, can continue to receive benefits during this emergency.
The public health emergency is declared under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act and, under section 1135 of the Social Security Act, the Secretary has authorized the waiver or modification certain Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP requirements. The state can submit waiver requests through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Regional Office.
The 1135 waiver authority will permit CMS to temporarily relax certain operating procedures as needed so health care services can be delivered, such as allowing critical access hospitals to take more than the statutorily mandated limit of 25 patients and not count the expected longer lengths of stay for evacuated patients against the 96-hour average.
HHS agencies continue to work with state agencies and regional networks to monitor the Red River. HHS emergency personnel and equipment are ready to assist the state with both health and human service needs if requested.
The declaration is available at http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/phe_ndfloods2011.html. Flood preparedness information is available at http://www.phe.gov/emergency/naturaldisasters/Pages/flood.aspx.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011