Posted on Monday, December 28, 2020

The spending package recently passed by Congress awaits President Trump’s signature has mostly good news for the health care stakeholders.  It includes a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, changes to home health therapy rules, certain hospice provisions and more.

“We are grateful that Congress recognized the need to support home care and hospice during the pandemic,” William A. Dombi, the president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), told Home Health Care News in an email.

In addition to the previously noted items, Dombi called attention to the package extending the Medicare sequestration holiday, which was initially set to expire at the end of this month. More CARES Act grants, an extension of the Medicaid Follows the Person (MFP) program and extra spousal impoverishment relief are likewise victories for home health and hospice operators, NAHC’s president said.

“[There is also] the expanded SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and more that will help keep [home health] and hospice operational,” Dombi added.

Some highlights are:

  • $284.5 billion more has been added for a second round of PPP loans for businesses with less than 300 employees and a demonstrated revenue loss greater than 25%
  • $70 billion to purchase and distribute vaccines
  • $22.4 billion for testing, contact tracing and other prevention practices necessary for combatting the virus
  • $3 billion was included for additional grants for health care providers to be reimbursed for expenses or lost revenues tied to COVID-19

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