HIDA Government Affairs Alert

April 1, 2020

HIDA Breaks Down The Third COVID-19 Response Package

On Friday March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is the third legislative package Congress has passed to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic with a fourth and possibly fifth package still expected. The behemoth law provides over $2 trillion in aid to individuals, small businesses, corporations, and public health.

Despite some road bumps, the bill ultimately passed 96-0 in the Senate and by voice vote in the House of Representatives. Both chambers have since adjourned through at least April 20th, however the length of the recess could be extended as the country continues to respond to COVID-19.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already laid out her priorities for a fourth COVID-19 response package, and staff is beginning to draft the legislative language. Republicans in the House are advocating a “wait-and-see” approach to assess how well the policies just passed in the CARES Act work before passing another large spending package.

HIDA Government Affairs has broken down the CARES Act into five summaries.

Industry Relevant Provisions
  • Requires the National Academies of Science to lead a report on the health of the Medical Supply Chain
  • Requires additional reporting for device shortages
  • Requires the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to include personal protective equipment (PPE) and other ancillary supplies

Support for Business
  • Emergency grants and forgivable loans for businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • Tax credit refundable against payroll tax for keeping workers on payroll
  • Delay 2020 payroll taxes

Services and Healthcare Workforce and Providers Support Provisions
  • Supplemental awards for health centers
  • Telehealth network and telehealth resource centers grant programs
  • Rural health care services outreach, rural health network development, and small healthcare provider quality improvement grant programs

Funding Extensions
  • $27 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, which includes $16 billion for SNS
  • Extension for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and teaching health centers
  • Delay in Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) reductions

Medicare and Medicaid Provisions
  • Increasing telehealth flexibilities during COVID-19
  • Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system add-on payment for COVID–19 patients during emergency period
  • Delays in reporting requirements for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests

HIDA Government Affairs continues to stay engaged with our partners on Capitol Hill and will provide updates as they become available. Please feel free to reach out to us at HIDAGovAffairs@HIDA.org or 703-549-4432.