New $484 Billion Government Funding Deal for Healthcare, Small Businesses, and Testing

UPDATE: The Senate on Tuesday, 4/21/20 passed this bill.  The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Thursday.

UPDATE 2: On Thursday 4/23/20, the house passed the bill.  The President should sign this quickly.

UPDATE 3: On Friday 4/24/20, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

News is breaking today that the senate has reached an agreement on another funding package that’s over $484 billion.  Assuming it can pass a voice vote in the Senate today, then it will go to the house tomorrow.  The package will fund the somewhat controversially implemented Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, provider funding, and testing.

Andy Slavvit did a pretty good breakdown of the funding, so I’ll highlight the tweets he shared that apply to healthcare.

This could be a big deal for a lot of healthcare practices and health IT vendors that likely have less than 500 employees and qualify. If you’re not familiar with the Paycheck Protection Program, you should be. You’ll need to go to your bank to learn about all the details and if you qualify. $310 billion is a lot of money, but banks probably already have loan applications for this amount. You’d hope the administration asked the banks how much of a backlog of applications they have to figure out this number, but who knows. If your application isn’t in line, get it in their ASAP.

This piece could apply to a number of people in healthcare. I think it will also be beneficial to many 1099 contractors that run their own business.

My guess is this will probably be distributed similar to the $100 billion in the CARES Act as well which was based on your Medicare and Medicaid billing.

Farzad Mostashari pointed out that at least for now the $75 billion includes more than just “hospitals”:

Andy Slavitt said that this was still a point of discussion and a critical area that the senate was wrestling with.

This testing funding is being divided $11 billion to states and $14 billion to CDC, BARDA, NIH, NCI (Natl Cancer Institute, who is leading the serology world) plus some for research, development & deployment. Although, this seems to be a point of contention as well with Republicans wanting more money for states and Democrats wanting a Federal testing approach.

Senators and the President are saying that this is still just a “mini-bill” since they know some other priorities didn’t make it into this bill and so they’ll be working on a follow on bill once this one is done. The President has asked for the next bill to include things like: State/Local Governments for lost revenues from COVID 19, much needed Infrastructure Investments for Bridges, Tunnels, Broadband, Tax Incentives for Restaurants, Entertainment, Sports, and Payroll Tax Cuts to increase Economic Growth.

Of course, as is always the case with these bills, the devil is in the details. Plus, it still has to officially pass the Senate and House, but it looks like it’s heading that direction.

Healthcare organizations should also be taking a look at the $200 Million FCC program for COVID-19 Telehealth. They’ve only awarded $6.94 million of the $200 million available.

We’ll update this article as things progress.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

   

Categories