For the past several weeks, AHCA/NCAL’s efforts in D.C. have been focused largely on a request to HHS to establish a fund to provide financial support specifically to long term care facilities. Today, we learned that our effort has met with success. The federal government will allocate
$4.9 billion to certified skilled nursing centers
, from the Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act.
You have been on the front lines for months, working hard to prevent and contain this deadly virus, especially in a number of the hot zone areas. I know that these resources are essential during this difficult time.
Every provider, whether you have cases of COVID-19 or not, is fighting to protect residents or keep the virus out the building. This has required substantial outlays for PPE, testing, agency staff and hero pay for regular staff as we isolate and cohort residents, prevent staff from working across units, and increase cleaning and infection control procedures. If a nursing home has COVID-19 positive patients, those costs double and triple.
Providers will be paid electronically where possible. Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from CMS will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks.
- HHS will make relief fund distributions to SNFs based on both a fixed basis and variable basis.
- Each SNF will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed.
- Providers must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes and agree to comply with future government audit and reporting requirements.
Unfortunately, assisted living providers still have not received the relief funds they need. This has happened for a variety of reasons. One issue is that because assisted living is not federally regulated, there is not a simple way to create a group of eligible providers or a methodology to pay them. We know this is creating a real hardship for our assisted living members and we are committed to working on this challenge.
I know that the resources announced today are critical for providers. Our state affiliates and members across the country have worked tirelessly on this effort, contacting every Member of Congress with requests to advocate to HHS on our behalf. These resources are welcome news, but we are not done yet. We realize that many of you have mounting challenges in the weeks and months to come. AHCA/NCAL remains focused and committed to working on your behalf. We’re so proud to be able to represent you, especially now. You are saving lives.