The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sending out 1,109 payments totaling $356,210,000 to skilled nursing facilities in California to help them combat the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The problem is, the pandemic has been going on for more than 2 months.
In mid-March, the State of California declared a State of Emergency, and locked down all non-essential businesses, forcing them to close, sending thousands of workers to the unemployment line.
Nursing homes, and skilled nursing facilities were hit hard by the pandemic.
During this pandemic, they have been facing unique challenges as their population of high-risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19.
The federal tax dollars from HHS will be used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.
According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar “this funding secured by President Trump will help nursing homes keep the seniors they care for safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,”
Azar says “the Trump Administration is providing every resource we can, from funding and direct PPE shipments to regulatory flexibility and infection control consultations, to protect seniors in nursing homes and those who care for them.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the viability of nursing homes in a variety of ways. Since the beginning of 2020, those homes have experienced up to a 6 percent decline in their patient population as current and potential residents choose other care settings, and elderly patients pass away.
In addition to nursing home residents, many nursing home employees have also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
These additional funds may help nursing homes address critical needs such as labor, scaling up their testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment and a range of other expenses directly linked to this pandemic.
Each nursing home will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed.
All certified nursing homes with six or more certified beds are eligible for this targeted distribution.
Nursing home recipients must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes, as set forth in the Terms and Conditions, and agree to comply with future government audit and reporting requirements.
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