HHS Begins Distributing Nearly $4.9 Billion to Nursing Facilities Impacted by COVID-19
On May 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has begun distributing billions in additional relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to help them combat the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high-risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. This funding, which supplements previously announced provider relief funds, will be used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the viability of SNFs in a variety of ways. Since the beginning of 2020, SNFs have experienced up to a 6 percent decline in their patient population as current and potential residents choose other care settings, or as current residents pass away. In addition to nursing home residents, many SNF 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.
HHS will make relief fund distributions to SNFs based on both a fixed basis and variable basis. Each SNF will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed. All certified SNFs 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.
This next round of funding from HHS includes 13,237 SNFs nationally receiving a total of $4.87 billion. Missouri will receive over $165 million distributed across 502 entities and Illinois will receive almost $289 million distributed to 725 locations.