On March 6, President Donald Trump signed into law an $8.3 billion emergency aid package to assist with coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. The package will fund various federal government agency response activities while also injecting needed funding into state and local response efforts.
To support state efforts to combat the coronavirus, the package includes
- $950 million for state and local public health, preparedness, and emergency response, half of which must be allocated within 30 days.
- $300 million for hospital and health care emergency preparedness, with a minimum of $4 million for each state.
- $500 million for pharmaceuticals, PPEs, and other supplies to support the national stockpile.
- Telehealth waivers that would allow Medicare to pay for services regardless of a patient’s location, including in a patient’s home, during this public health emergency (current federal law restricts Medicare telehealth coverage only to rural, federally designated health professional shortage areas, and only in health care facilities).
WHA and state officials are in ongoing discussions to better understand how the funding can be used in Wisconsin, and is also evaluating options for other state and federal support. Contact WHA Director of Federal & State Relations Jon Hoelter