The stimulus package would also delay and reduce payroll tax payments by 50 percent for employers, including hospitals and health systems. The AHA and other provider groups advocated for a payroll tax reduction in order to sustain operations during the outbreak.
Other healthcare provisions included in the stimulus package would enable physician assistants and nurse practitioners to furnish home health services and federally qualified health centers and rural hospitals to serve as a distant site for telehealth – and get paid for the services.
The package would also funnel $16 billion for the purchase of medical supplies for the Strategic National Stockpile, which includes PPE, and $1 billion for purchases under the Defense Production Act. Community health centers would also receive $1.3 billion to bolster their efforts to combat COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the AHA supported the stimulus package even though the association noted that Congress will need to take additional action to ensure hospitals and other providers can make it through the difficult time.
“This bill includes important provisions that will help us respond, including the creation of an emergency fund grant program, additional support for taking care of COVID-19 patients and relief from spending cuts, among other provisions,” stated Rick Pollack, AHA president and CEO.
“This support will help those hospitals from rural and urban communities that are in dire financial need due to this devastating pandemic. The AHA supports this legislation and urges the Senate and House to act quickly to pass it.”