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Focus on Healthcare: HHS Provider Relief Fund: $5 Billion Nursing Home Infection Control Targeted Distribution

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On August 27, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Nursing Home Infection Control targeted distribution.
September 14, 2020

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On August 27, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Nursing Home Infection Control targeted distribution. This targeted distribution is an additional distribution of $5 billion created for the purpose of building skills and enhancing response to the COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. HHS has created this distribution in response to the high-risk environments created by the congregate nature and resident population of older adults and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. The Nursing Home Infection Control targeted distribution supplements the distribution of $4.9 billion previously distributed to skilled nursing facilities through the Skilled Nursing Facility Targeted Distribution.

The Nursing Home Infection Control distribution will be divided into two rounds of funding. HHS will distribute an initial $2.5 billion of the Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution funding to support nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities in conducting appropriate testing, acquiring necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), and investing in staff to improve infection control. HHS will distribute an additional $2 billion in funding at a later time for nursing home performance in improving safety and minimizing COVID-19 spread, COVID-19 related fatalities among residents, and training, mentorship, and instruction on infection prevention and control in nursing homes across the country.

Eligible nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities will receive a per-facility payment of $10,000 plus a per-bed payment of $1,450 via the first round of the Nursing Home Infection Control distribution. To be eligible to receive a payment under the Nursing Home Infection Control targeted distribution, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities must have an active Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) certification, not have been revoked, and have at least six certified beds.

The Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution can only be used for the infection control expenses defined in the terms and conditions. These include costs associated with administering COVID-19 testing for both staff and residents, reporting COVID-19 test results to local, state, or federal governments, hiring staff to provide patient care or administrative support, incurring expenses to improve infection control, including activities such as implementing infection control “mentorship” programs with subject matter experts, or changes made to physical facilities, and providing additional services to residents, such as technology that permits residents to connect with their families if the families are not able to visit in person.

Due to the limits on use of funds, the terms and conditions for this distribution differ from those placed on the Skilled Nursing Facility targeted distribution and other targeted distribution payments made under the Provider Relief Fund. The terms and conditions for the Nursing Home Infection Control distribution specifically prohibit recipients from taking any actions inconsistent with the best interests of its patients in order to increase potential future outcomes-based payments based on the recipients’ successful infection control outcomes.

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities should periodically review www.hhs.gov/providerrelief for updates related to the second $2 billion disbursement of the distribution slated for later this year.

 

Readers should not act upon information presented without individual professional consultation.

Any federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments): (i) is intended for your use only; (ii) is based on the accuracy and completeness of the facts you have provided us; and (iii) may not be relied upon to avoid penalties.

 

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