CARES Act Emergency Fund
Three Congressional bills have now been enacted for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with more expected. Most hospitals have acted on some benefits (e.g., telehealth billing, accelerated Medicare payments, add-on payments). The third act—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—has created a $100 billion fund administered through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to cover non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19. These funds are not available yet, as guidance will be provided on how to apply and what information will be required to qualify for payment disbursements. However, critical information has been released that will allow organizations to start preparations. Further guidance is expected this week, and those organizations that can submit their applications early will have a better chance of receiving funding before the distributions have been exhausted. Acting now is critical.