Additional $5 Billion of COVID-19 Funding for Nursing Facilities
By Jesus Fung, Manager, Advisory Services
Announced on July 22, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will dedicate $5 billion of funding for Medicare certified nursing facilities and state veterans’ homes to develop infection controls in response to COVID-19. This is in addition to the $4.9 billion previously announced for revenue losses, additional expense incurred and other emergency needs.
In order to qualify for the additional funding, providers must complete the Nursing Home COVID-19 Training. The self-paced training program will be available on-demand through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The online program will also offer scenario-based training on how to alleviate the spread in the facility. Upon completion of the training, providers are recommended to display their certificate of completion on their website.
The purpose of the additional $5 billion funding is for providers to address the following needs:
- Hiring additional staff
- Implementing infection control “mentorship” programs with subject matter experts
- Increasing testing
- Provide technology support for residents to connect with their families
CMS also announced that the recommendation to test staff members on a weekly basis will become a requirement for nursing home in states with a 5% or higher positivity rate, as a step forward to slow the spread from asymptomatic carriers. Further rulemaking will be required however, before this will be enforced.
Marcum will continue to provide updates when more details are available regarding Nursing Home COVID-19 Training and the required weekly testing of staff for applicable states. Please reach out to your Marcum Healthcare Advisor with any questions you may have.