Summary of CARES Act provisions relating to Health Care
The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented stress on the health care system and the country at large. In response, Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act.” The CARES Act is an over 2 trillion dollar aid package designed to sustain the country through the COVID-19 pandemic and to ease restrictions on individuals, companies and agencies during the crisis.
Considering that the health care system is on the front line of the pandemic, the CARES Act contains numerous provisions to ease regulations and inject funding into the health care system. We have summarized the most relevant portions of the act for health care providers, and a summary of the health care provisions is available here. In addition, the CARES Act appropriates $140.4 billion dollars to the Department of Health and Human Services to empower the department to respond to the crises. A full breakdown of this funding from the Senate Appropriations Committee can be found here. The provisions of particular interest to health care providers and institutions are as follows:
Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund ($127 Billion)
- Reimbursement to Hospitals & Healthcare Providers: $100 billion to ensure healthcare providers continue to receive the support they need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue.
- Strategic National Stockpile: $16 billion to procure personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts. When combined with the first supplemental, the Committee has provided approximately $17 billion for the Stockpile.
- Vaccine, Therapeutics, Diagnostics, and other Medical or Preparedness Needs: $11 billion. Includes at least $3.5 billion to advance construction, manufacturing, and purchase of vaccines and therapeutic delivery to the American people. This is in addition to the billions already provided for these activities in the first supplemental.
- Hospital Preparedness: Not less than $250 million to improve the capacity of healthcare facilities to respond to medical event.
- Health Resources and Services Administration: $275 million to expand services and capacity for rural hospitals, telehealth, poison control centers, and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Language is also included to allow Community Health Centers to use FY2020 funding to maintain or increase staffing and capacity to address the coronavirus
- Includes $4 million for HHS Office of Inspector General for oversight activities.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention ($4.3 billion):
Resources are provided for public health preparedness and response, which includes funding to state and local public health responders (including reimbursement of funds used thus far in response to the coronavirus), as well as enhanced nationwide surveillance, diagnostics, laboratory support, communication campaigns to the public, guidance to physicians and health care workers, and global health preparedness.
- State and Local Preparedness Grants: $1.5 billion in designated funding for state and local preparedness and response activities. When combined with the first supplemental, the Congress has provided $2.5 billion for state and local needs.
- Global Health Security: $500 million to continue CDC’s global health efforts that are critical to the health and security of the United States. When combined with the first supplemental, the Congress has provided $800 million for global health.
- Public Health Data Surveillance and Infrastructure Modernization: $500 million to invest in better COVID- 19 tools and build state and local public health data infrastructure.
- Infectious Disease Fund: $300 million to give HHS flexibility to respond to pandemic threats. When combined with the first supplemental, the Congress has provided $600 million to this fund.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) ($945.5 million)
for vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic research to increase our understanding of COVID-19, including underlying risks to cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions. When combined with the first supplemental, the Congress has provided $1.78 billion for NIH research.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ($425 million):
Funds are provided to address mental health and substance use disorders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: $250 million to increase access to mental health care services.
- Suicide Prevention: $50 million to provide increased support for those most in need of intervention.
- SAMHSA Emergency Response Grants: $100 million in flexible funding to address mental health, substance use disorders, and provide resources and support to youth and the homeless during the pandemic.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ($200 million):
- Survey and Certification of Healthcare Facilities: $100 million to support additional infection control surveys for facilities with populations vulnerable to severe illness from coronavirus.
We are able to answer any questions you may have. Please note that this is a summary and not a substitute for reading the CARES Act. There are sections that have not been covered in this summary, and the covered sections have been truncated for readability. If you have any questions about a particular section we encourage you to contact us at (312) 946-1800.