WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced that assisted living facilities may now apply for funding under the Provider Relief Fund Phase II.
The move comes after months of lobbying by seniors housing industry associations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, while skilled nursing facilities received millions of dollars in governmental support, assisted living communities were left out of much of the funding.
“Argentum, along with our trade association partners, have been advocating on behalf of these communities for months, and we are very grateful for the partnership of HHS, the president and the White House, and the bipartisan support we have received from members of Congress,” says James Balda, president of industry association Argentum.
“While this source of funding will help assisted living operators that have been experiencing accelerating costs and declining revenue for months due to COVID-19, the fight against this disease is far from over. Senior living communities will continue to bear significant costs related to staffing pressures and procuring scarce resources, such as COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment (PPE), to detect and mitigate the spread of the disease,” continues Balda. “We will continue to advocate for the urgent and critical needs of the senior living industry, including seeking priority access to a vaccine once available for those who live and work in senior living communities.”
The funding comes through the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — all stimulus measures from the federal government to protect businesses and workers during the pandemic.
“HHS is committed to ensuring America’s healthcare providers have what they need to protect their patients and continue providing care through the pandemic,“ says HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “By expanding the Provider Relief Fund to assisted living facilities, we are supporting more frontline providers and helping to protect the nearly 1 million vulnerable older Americans in their care.”
Like other providers applying for Phase II funding, eligible assisted living facilities will receive 2 percent of their annual revenue from patient care. Applications are due Sep. 13. For more information on the distribution, click here.