Late on March 25, the U.S. Senate approved a third COVID-19 stimulus package that has been under intense negotiations since late last week. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 96-0 to send the package to the House where it is expected to be approved later today, March 27. President Trump has said he will immediately sign the $2 trillion spending package to assist struggling industries impacted by this national emergency.
Most notably for health care, the package includes $100 billion in direct aid for hospitals and other health care entities. Other health care items include:
- Enhanced ability for hospitals (including CAHs) to request advanced Medicare payments due to COVID-19 revenue shortfalls based on past expenses.
- 20% Medicare DRG boost for COVID-19 treatment.
- Suspension of the 2% Medicare sequester cuts from May 1 – Dec. 31.
- $16 billion for PPE and other medical supplies as well as $1 billion expanding funding under the Defense Production Act to support the domestic manufacturing of medical supplies and PPE.
- $4.3 billion to support federal, state and local public health agency response efforts.
- $250 million to expand the Hospital Preparedness Program’s emergency preparedness efforts.
In a letter sent March 25
, WHA thanked Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation for their work to get this important funding included in the package and asked for its swift approval. WHA also requested assistance from Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation in obtaining details on how hospitals and health systems could apply for these funds and resources. “We ask that you remain diligently involved in working with the federal agencies who will be setting up the framework to get this funding out the door,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said in the letter. “It is important that these resources be distributed fairly and efficiently to all states and that Wisconsin is not disadvantaged by any arbitrary formulas or distribution designs,” Borgerding said.
WHA is continuing to analyze the details of this package and will provide more information in a future update. Please contact WHA Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter