Long-term care providers are eagerly awaiting details of a fourth economic stimulus package. But they may want to brace themselves for some disappointment.
As of Thursday, a draft of a proposal by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was circulating and it didn’t encourage optimism. The draft outlines appropriations for various funding areas. Among the Department of Health and Human Services line items are $25 billion for the HHS Provider Relief Fund, which would increase the total amount of the fund to $200 billion.
That proposed uptick would fall significantly short of the $100 billion requested by the American Health Care Association. The fund is accessible to all healthcare providers, not just those in long-term care, affected by COVID-19.
“Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will end up repeating the same mistakes from several months ago,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said earlier this week. “We need Congress to prioritize nursing homes and assisted living communities in this upcoming legislation.”
AHCA noted that nursing homes have received only about 4.3% of the $175 billion allocated for the fund.
On Wednesday, however, President Trump disclosed that the federal government will be giving nursing home providers $5 billion to fight the coronavirus. That comes on top of $4.9 billion allotted to nursing homes in May.
The proposal also says the Medicare Part B premium will not increase in 2021. Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their stimulus plan by the end of the week.