On May 15, the United Stated House of Representatives passed the latest round of emergency funding for the COVID-19 pandemic, titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The $3 trillion bill is a starting point for House Democrats to begin talks with the Republican led Senate. The bill is expected to be introduced to the Senate sometime after the Memorial Day Weekend, although the bill is expected to be ‘Dead on Arrival’. Some of the funding, relative to healthcare facilities, is highlighted below.
- $200B for hazard pay to essential workers, to include nurses, doctors, etc.
- $75B toward additional Covid-19 testing
- $850M for childcare and family care for essential workers
- $100B to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund-Provider Relief Fund-Payments directly to hospitals
- Increase state Medicaid DSH allotments by 2.5% for FY 20 and 21
- Increase FMAP by 14 percentage points, July 1,2020-June 30, 2021 (Each percentage point is $9M for South Dakota for a total of $126M)
- Lower Medicare Advance Payment Program interest rate from 10.25% to 1%, increase interest-free payment period from one year to two years
- Temporarily expand the FCC-Rural Health Care Program by $2B, partially subsidizing providers’ broadband service
- $4.575B to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
- $2.1B to Indian Health Services
- $7.6 B to Health Resources and Services Administration to support expanded health care services for underserved populations
Further details of the bill can be found here.