The Trump administration will send close to $5 billion to help nursing homes combat COVID-19, The Hill reports.
The Department of Health and Human Services will distribute the money, which can be used to increase testing capacity, purchase protective equipment for staff, hire more workers and cover other pandemic-related expenses.
The funds, announced Friday, will also help cover lost revenue caused by the pandemic. Under the administration's proposal, facilities would each receive $50,000, plus an additional $2,500 per bed.
But some trade groups representing nursing homes and long-term care facilities say $5 billion isn’t enough money. They asked for $10 billion.
“Given the gravity of the situation we are facing with this deadly virus and its impact on our vulnerable residents, long-term care facilities require additional support and funding from state and federal governments to reduce its spread,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 facilities in the U.S.
Parkinson noted that assisted living facilities won’t be eligible for the additional funding, despite also dealing with COVID-19.
Nursing homes have been devastated by the virus. According to a New York Times tally, at least 28,100 residents and workers have died so far, which accounts for one-third of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
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