COVID-19: Supplemental III

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President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, 2020.

 

The $2.2 trillion package represents 10 percent of the nation’s GDP. Axios described the bill in the following way: “It’s not intended to stimulate growth and spending to offset a potential downturn. It’s designed to prevent mass homelessness, starvation and a wave of business closures not seen since the height of the Great Depression.”

Click here to view a summary of the business provisions from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The bill’s health care implications include:

Health Care

Sequestration Delay: The bill will suspend the 2 percent sequestration cut in Medicare funding for the time period of May 1 to December 31, 2020. The sequestration will then be extended from 2029 to 2030.

Telehealth: The bill will waive any of the current requirements in statute for telehealth during the emergency.

$100 Billion Grant Program: The HHS Secretary will be directed to identify public entities, Medicare/Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers, and for-profit entities and not-for-profit entities that can be reimbursed for health care expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to COVID-19.

Emergency Response

$3.5 Billion Child Care Grants: Funding is included for childcare programs for essential workers, such as EMS professionals.

$45 Billion Disaster Relief Fund: The bill includes a provision to make grants available under the FEMA Public Assistant Program to state and local governments to address the recovery from COVID-19, which will include reimbursement for the medical response.