Earlier this afternoon, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, providing nearly $500 billion in additional funding to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides a second round of funding for small business loans, sets aside significant additional funding for health care entities, and expands COVID-19 research and testing.
- $370 billion set aside for small businesses: The bill allocates an additional $310 billion to fund the Paycheck Protection Program, providing loans to small businesses that are guaranteed by the SBA and forgivable if certain employee retention requirements are met. The bill also sets aside an additional $50 billion for the Emergency Grant Fund and $10 billon for EIDL grants to further help small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis.
- $75 billion to assist health care providers: The bill adds an additional $75 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, available to eligible health care providers that provide services to COVID-19 patients. Similar to the initial $100 billion for the Fund included in the CARES Act, dispersed funds can be used for temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies and equipment (including personal protective equipment and testing supplies), increased workforce and trainings, emergency operation centers, retrofitting facilities, and surge capacity. Importantly, the funds can also likely be used for lost revenue resulting from operational changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At this stage, it is unclear how these funds will be appropriated, although Advis expects that any future applications will be submitted through HHS’ CARES Act Provider Relief Fund portal.
- $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing: Finally, the bill provides additional funding to expand resources for developing, manufacturing, administering, and expanding capacity for COVID-19 testing across the country. The majority of the $25 billion is set aside for States, localities, and territories, as well as funds earmarked for public research on testing development and programs. Importantly, specific testing funding is allotted to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics to further expand testing to rural and at-risk areas. It is unclear whether any additional testing funds will be directly available to private health-care entities.
If you have any questions relating to Congress’ new COVID-19 stimulus bill or how it affects your entity, please reach out to Advis’ team of experts at 708-478-7030.
Published: April 22, 2020