Late last night, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) took to the floor at about 1:30 am to announce an agreement on a $2 Trillion Phase 3 Economic Aid Package had been reached.
The headline changes include a total $130 billion for hospitals and health care providers, and a new $150 billion for state and local governments, dramatically expanded unemployment compensation, and oversight of the business loans provided.
Notable healthcare and emergency response provisions include:
- $100 billion for a new program to provide direct aid to health care institutions on the front line of this crisis—hospitals, public entities, not-for profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers—to cover costs related to this public health crisis.
- $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile supplies of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies, which are distributed to State and local health agencies, hospitals and other healthcare entities facing shortages during emergencies.
- $3.5 billion for BARDA to expand the production of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to help combat this pandemic.
- At least $250 million to expand the Hospital Preparedness Program’s support of emergency preparedness, including the National Ebola and Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), regional, State and local special pathogens treatment centers, and hospital preparedness cooperative agreements.
- $1 billion for the Defense Production Act bolster domestic supply chains, enabling industry to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies, and billions dollars more for federal, state, and local health agencies to purchase such equipment.
- $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including for the purchase of personal protective equipment; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities.
- $200 million for CMS to assist nursing homes with infection control and support states’ efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes.
- $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them recovery from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide
- $400 million for FEMA grants, including :
- $100 million Assistance to Firefighter Grants to provide personal protective equipment, supplies, and reimbursements.
- $100 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants which focus on emergency preparedness
- $200 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program which provides shelter, food, and supportive services through local service organizations.
- $200 million for CMS to assist nursing homes with infection control and support CMS and states as they work to save lives and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
- $3.5 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus.
- $10 billion in grants to help our nation’s airports as the aviation sector grapples with the steepest and potentially sustained decline in air travel in history.
- $15.85 billion for to help our nation’s veterans, including to help treat COVID-19, purchase test kits, and procure personal protective equipment for clinicians, and $590 million in dedicated funding to treat vulnerable veterans, including homeless veterans and those in VA-run nursing homes
- $562 million to help small businesses by ensuring SBA has the resources to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses that need financial support. This will help businesses keep their doors open and pay their employees.
- $425 million to increase access to mental health services in communities.
AAMS continues to engage Federal agencies on EMS issues, most notably the lack of PPE availability.
- CDC hosted a COVID-19 Update: Optimization Strategies for Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). During this COCA Call, presenters will provide a COVID-19 update and discuss strategies for healthcare facilities to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies such as eye protection, isolation gowns, facemasks, and N95 respirators. A recap of that call is posted here:
- NHTSA EMS will host a Webinar: Crisis Standards of Care and COVID-19: What EMS Needs to Know: A systems approach to developing crisis standards of care, defined as a "substantial change in unusual healthcare operations and the level of care it is possible to deliver," is critical for EMS systems preparing for any public health emergency.