On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package designed to help the United States continue to recover from the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill includes funding for critical programs and services that will help Senior Living navigate the impact of COVID-19 in 2021. At this time there is no action needed on your part to secure this funding. Our experts have laid out the key points you need to know.
Targeted Relief for Nursing Homes
- $250 million for State Strike Teams (local health and emergency services personnel hired on temporarily) to assist nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, including funds for clinical care, infection control and additional staffing for up to a year after the public health emergency ends
- $200 million for quality improvement organizations to provide infection control and vaccination support for skilled nursing homes for the duration of the pandemic
State and Local Funding
- $350 billion has been allocated for state and local governments (including U.S. territories and tribes) to generally be used at their discretion. Roughly $195 billion of this will be allocated to the States and District of Columbia. While there is no requirement that these state and local governments use the funding in a specific manner, these dollars could be an avenue through which senior care providers are able to access direct financial support. Based upon how these entities used the funds from the last relief package, we anticipate a variety of state and local funding programs will be developed.
- Premium Pay: these funds can specifically be used by state and local governments to pay up to an additional $13 an hour to certain eligible workers, or as grants to employers of these workers for such pay. There is a cap of $25,000 in premium pay per eligible worker.
Many states supported Senior Living using funds from the CARES Act, and while we expect this trend to continue with this new allotment, be sure to check with your state and local organizations on how to apply for them.
We will provide updates as more state-specific information becomes available – check our COVID-19 Resources page for further details.
Rural Provider Relief Funding
- $8.5 billion has been allocated to the previously established Provider Relief Fund managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) specifically for rural health care providers
Testing and PPE
- $47 billion for HHS to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 infections and related strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including support developing, manufacturing, distributing, and administering tests, PPE, and other supplies necessary for testing
- An additional $7.660 billion to HHS to establish a public health workforce to respond to the pandemic, including through awards to state and local public health departments. Specifically, HHS can use the funds to increase community health workers, nurses, and epidemiologists, among others. These funds can also be spent on technology and supplies used by the public health workforce, such as PPE
Paycheck Protection Program
- The PPP has undergone modifications. The requirements for nonprofits have changed and more entities are now eligible. Plus, if you were eligible for the PPP program initially, you may qualify for a second draw. But act fast – unless the date is extended, the PPP program will end on March 31, 2021.
What Comes Next?
While the ARP includes a host of provisions that could eventually trickle down to the post-acute and long-term care sector, the provisions ultimately fall short of the additional aid requested by the industry in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We are monitoring potential state and local programs and will include updates on our COVID-19 Resources page when information becomes available.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides much needed support to the Senior Living industry, but it’s far from a comprehensive solution. We are with you in this fight – Direct Supply will continue its efforts in Washington to help ensure Senior Living has the resources it needs to continue caring for our seniors – now and in the future.
The materials, comments and other information offered herein are intended to provide general information and are not legal advice. Funding details may change and this blog may not reflect revised requirements, restrictions and/or timelines. Direct Supply is not endorsed by or affiliated with any funding agency, and does not guarantee eligibility under any particular program. Contact your legal and financial teams to discuss how these programs may apply to your particular facility.
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