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Blog | Coronavirus

What can healthcare providers expect now that a COVID-19 relief package failed a procedural vote in the Senate

Blog | Coronavirus

What can healthcare providers expect now that a COVID-19 relief package failed a procedural vote in the Senate

  • Conventional wisdom in D.C. is that another COVID-19 relief measure is on ice until after the election unless the economic situation materially deteriorates.
  • Republicans in the Senate tried to advance their version of a COVID-19 relief package but failed on a party line vote.
  • Their relief bill did not include a second round of stimulus checks or more money for state and local governments, both of which were included the CARES Act.

Conventional wisdom in D.C. is that another COVID-19 relief measure is on ice until after the election unless the economic situation materially deteriorates. Republicans in the Senate tried to advance their version of a COVID-19 relief package but failed on a party line vote.

According to a Sept. 8 article in The Wall Street Journal, the GOP bill included:

  • $300 in weekly federal unemployment insurance through Dec. 27
  • Liability protections for businesses and health-care facilities
  • $29 billion in health-care funding
  • $105 billion for schools
  • Another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding

The bill did not include a second round of stimulus checks or more money for state and local governments, both of which were included the CARES Act.

Takeaway

Given the package was negotiated among Senate Republicans, without input from Democrats,  it’s not surprising the package failed on a party line vote. Each side is digging in deeper as Democrats are looking for a package that is closer to the $3.4 trillion bill passed by the House, again on a party line vote, in May.

An open question for providers is what happens with the Advanced and Accelerated Payment Program withholding that was scheduled to begin in August. CMS likely instructed the MACs to pause withholding payments in anticipation of another COVID-19 relief package that would modify the payment terms. Now that it’s unlikely that Congress will alter the terms, CMS may decide it has no choice but to move forward with withholding. 

About the Author

Chad Mulvany, FHFMA,

is director, healthcare finance policy, strategy and development, HFMA’s Washington, D.C., office.

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