May 22, 2020, David Schless, ASHA - Today HHS announced a nearly $4.9 billion distribution to nursing facilities impacted by COVID-19. This funding, which supplements previously announced provider relief funds, will be used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. They will receive $50,000 per facility and an additional $2,500 per bed.
All certified SNFs with six or more certified beds are eligible for this targeted distribution. Nursing home recipients must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes, as set forth in the Terms and Conditions, and agree to comply with future government audit and reporting requirements.
ASHA continues to weigh in with HHS on its request for a $20 billion allocation of financial relief form the “Provider Fund.” In recent discussions with HHS Secretary Azar, we were informed that we were very much still on the radar for an allocation.
In a meeting with Deputy Secretary Hargan a few weeks ago, we got a similar message and so remain cautiously optimistic that our advocacy is gaining traction. We will continue to press to advance our request especially in light of this recent distribution to the SNF sector.
We are also keeping up our lobbying efforts on the hill. In a call for action earlier this week we asked ASHA members to reach out to the House and ask their member of Congress to sign a letter currently being led by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) to HHS seeking support for our request for financial relief.
The goal is to show solid support from Congress for our request. If you have not yet contacted your Representative please do so today. The letter will close next Friday, May 29. This show of support will be critical to advancing our work with HHS.