Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Eric Hargan renewed an Oct. 26 declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. The original declaration was set to expire on Jan. 23.

The designation allows federal health agencies to allocate resources and hire specialists to combat the epidemic. The administration also signaled a willingness to approve waivers of the institutions for mental disease (IMD) exclusion, which expands access to inpatient care through Medicaid for substance use disorders.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.