Blog | Coronavirus

Updated FEMA guidance notes availability of monetary assistance for COVID-19 vaccination activities

Blog | Coronavirus

Updated FEMA guidance notes availability of monetary assistance for COVID-19 vaccination activities

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued updated guidance on medical care and associated costs for which monetary assistance is available during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The federal share of funding to cover eligible medical care has increased from 75% to 100% of associated costs, FEMA announced in the new guidance. The increase is retroactive to Jan. 20, 2020 and lasts through Sept. 30, 2021.

Other updates of note:

Vaccination programs can be covered

Hospitals are eligible to receive monetary assistance for COVID-19 vaccination activities. Among various other areas, the assistance can cover:

  • PPE, other equipment and supplies
  • Additional staff
  • Communications to the public about the vaccination program
  • “Reasonable and  necessary” IT , equipment and systems for patient registration and tracking and vaccine-related inventory management
  • Training and technical assistance specific to vaccine storage, handling, distribution and administration

Emphasis is being placed on equitability

Recipients of FEMA funding for COVID-19 response and recovery “must prioritize limited resources to ensure an equitable pandemic response,” the guidance states.

“FEMA will monitor compliance for all COVID-19 work” and will require recipients to:

  • Provide assurances of compliance with nondiscrimination requirements
  • Retain compliance information
  • Submit and retain complete, accurate and timely reports
  • Respond to requests for information

Recommended steps include:

  • Using the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index or similar tool to determine highest-risk communities
  • Considering communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic in terms of infection rates, hospitalizations and mortality
  • Strengthening data collection efforts to substantiate that COVID-19 aid is reaching the highest-risk communities and underserved populations

With respect to funding for vaccination efforts and associated activities, each recipient will be required to demonstrate how equity was considered in its vaccination strategy.

About the Author

Nick Hut

is a senior editor with HFMA, Westchester, Ill. (nhut@hfma.org).

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