For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2020   

NHPCO Applauds President’s National Emergency Declaration Granting 1135 Waiver Authority in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic 

(Alexandria, Va) – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization thanks President Trump for declaring a national emergency and giving Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar the authority to waive certain requirements under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. NHPCO applauds the President for responding to our March 10 letter requesting this declaration.    

NHPCO will continue close collaboration with the White House COVID-19 Task Force, HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on making interdisciplinary, person-centered care available to vulnerable Americans facing serious and life limiting illness as we confront the novel coronavirus pandemic.  NHPCO thanks CMS Administrator Seema Verma for her leadership and announcing new policy which restricts “visitors to nursing homes except in end of life situations.” 

“We applaud the Administration for taking swift action by making an emergency declaration invoking the 1135 waiver authority,” said NHPCO President & CEO Edo Banach. “We will continue to work with the Administration to identify areas where additional flexibility will enable hospice providers to prioritize the health and safety of their patients, caregivers, and staff in private homes and facilities in their communities across the nation. Ensuring access to community-based care is needed now more than ever.” 

As the attention of the world remains focused on COVID-19, NHPCO offers relevant and timely resources for community-based hospice providers serving patients and families where they live at 


Jon Radulovic
Vice President, Communications
Ph: 703-837-3139