HHS Announces Nearly $4.9 Billion Distribution to Nursing Facilities Impacted by COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing it has begun distributing billions in additional relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to help them combat the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing homes play a pivotal role in providing skilled care to our nation’s vulnerable seniors. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high-risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like 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.
Support to health care providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is coming through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other health care providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. In allocating these funds, the administration is working, among other things, to address the economic impact of COVID-19 on providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the viability of SNFs in a variety of ways. Since the beginning of 2020, SNFs have experienced up to a 6% decline in their patient population as current and potential residents choose other care settings, or as current residents pass away. In addition to nursing home residents, many SNF employees also have been diagnosed with COVID-19. These additional funds may help nursing homes address critical needs such as labor, scaling up their testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment, and a range of other expenses directly linked to this pandemic.
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. 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.
Visit the HHS website for additional information.