New COVID Relief Legislation, But No New Provider Relief Funds

As of March 9, 2021, the United States House of Representatives was continuing work to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), the Biden Administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.  The legislation was passed by the Senate on March 6, 2021, and is expected to be passed in the House and signed into law before the end of the week.  Despite calls from the senior housing industry, such as the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), the Bill does not include an allocation to replenish the Provider Relief Fund, which is currently estimated to amount to between $24 and $40 billion.  Others in the industry are also pointing out that it does not otherwise offer much support to senior living communities.  This comes as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), through its Provider Support Line, is generally communicating that none of the remaining Provider Relief Funding is currently being disbursed and new phases of funding are not yet fully planned.  The last major update on funding was in December 2020, with the release of over $24 billion in Phase 3 Funding.

Long-term care providers should continue to keep abreast of Provider Relief Fund developments by checking HHS’s CARES Act Provider Relief Fund web page.  As a reminder to providers that have already received funding, HHS has pushed back the initial reporting deadline (without setting a new date), but a new date will likely be announced in the near future.

For more information, please contact Hedy S. Rubinger or Alexander B. Foster.

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