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Title VIII: Agency Appropriations

Overview

Title VIII: Agency Appropriations


Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS")
The Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (“Fund”) for Health Care Providers

Health Surveillance and Program Support

Aging and Disability Services

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund – Miscellaneous Services


Division B of the Act makes appropriations to specific government agencies responsible for programs that will likely require assistance during the COVID-19 emergency. Title VIII of Division B includes several provisions that are relevant for health care entities, as discussed below.

Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS")

The Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (“Fund”) for Health Care Providers

This provision establishes a $100 billion fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally. The Fund is to be used to reimburse eligible health care providers for necessary expenses, through grants or other mechanisms, for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.

These funds may not be used to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse. To obtain access to the funds, providers must submit reports and maintain documentation to ensure compliance with conditions that are imposed for such payments, using forms and providing content that will be defined by the Secretary.

“Eligible health care providers” means public entities, Medicare or Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers, and such for-profit entities and not-for-profit entities as the Secretary may specify, within the United States (including territories), that provide diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will review applications and make payments on a rolling basis.

Funds appropriated may be used for:

  • building or construction of temporary structures;
  • leasing of properties;
  • medical supplies and equipment including personal protective equipment;
  • testing supplies;
  • increased workforce and trainings;
  • emergency operation centers;
  • retrofitting facilities; and
  • surge capacity.

To be eligible for a payment under this paragraph, an eligible health care provider must submit an application, under the provider’s valid tax identification number, that includes a statement justifying the provider’s need for the payment.

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Health Surveillance and Program Support

This provision allocates $425 million, to remain available through September30, 2021, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. The following conditions apply:

  • $250 million is available for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grant program;
  • $50 million is available for suicide prevention programs;
  • $100 million is available for activities authorized under Section 501(o) of the Public Health Service Act (emergency response programs for mental health and substance abuse); and
  • $15 million shall be allocated to tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health or behavioral health service providers to tribes.

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Aging and Disability Services

This provision allocates $955 million, to remain available until September 30, 2021, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. The following conditions apply:

  • $820 million shall be for activities authorized under the Older Americans Act of 1965 (“OAA”), including:
    • $200 million for supportive services under part B of title III;
    • $480 million for nutrition services under subparts 1 and 2 of part C of title III;
    • $20 million for nutrition services under title VI;
    • $100 million for support services for family caregivers; and
    • $20 million for elder rights protection activities, including the long-term ombudsman program.
  • $50 million for aging and disability resources;
  • $85 million for centers for independent living; and
  • The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman will have continuing direct access (or other access through the use of technology) to residents of long-term care facilities during any portion of the public health emergency relating to coronavirus beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on September 30, 2020.

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Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund – Miscellaneous Services

This provision allocates $275 million, to remain available until September 30, 2022, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally. The following conditions apply:

  • $90 million of the funds appropriated under this paragraph shall be transferred to “Health Resources and Services Administration—Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program” to remain available until September 30, 2022, for modifications to existing contracts and supplements to existing grants and cooperative agreements;
  • $5 million shall be transferred to “Health Resources and Services Administration—Health Care Systems” to remain available until September 30, 2022, for poison control centers to respond to increased calls;
  • $180 million shall be transferred to “Health Resources and Services Administration—Rural Health” to remain available until September 30, 2022, to carry out telehealth and rural health activities;
  • $15 million shall be allocated to tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes; and
  • Funds appropriated may be made available to restore amounts, either directly or through reimbursement, for obligations incurred to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus prior to the date of enactment of this Act, and for maintaining or increasing health center capacity and staffing levels.

The process for accessing these funds will be established by the Secretary of HHS, likely by rule. Because many of these funds will be used to reimburse providers for their costs associated with COVID-19, providers should, if they have not already done so, immediately begin tracking expenses related to COVID-19, and should expressly designate those expenditures as COVID-19 related.

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