As the deadline approaches for assisted living and memory care community operators to enter data into the HHS Provider Fund portal in an effort to potentially receive federal relief for their COVID-19-related costs — the deadline remains 5 p.m. ET today — the Department of Health and Human Services is extending until Aug. 28 the deadline for eligible state Medicaid providers, including assisted living operators, to apply for monies from the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund.

HHS originally had set an application deadline of July 20 for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program providers who are experiencing lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19 to apply for $15 billion in grants, and then HHS extended that deadline until today.

“HHS continues to keep an open line of communication with provider organizations, congressional, state and local leaders, in a collective effort to get the word out about this program, and HHS has learned that a second extension would be beneficial to those providers,” the agency said Friday. “By giving providers until August 28, 2020, to apply, HHS is hopeful it has struck the right balance in terms of providing as much flexibility as possible, recognizing the constraints on smaller practices already operating on thin margins with limited administrative staff.”

HHS also said it will be offering a simplified application soon in response to provider feedback. Eligible providers could receive funding of up to 2% of reported revenue.

HUD spending bill has $110M for new Section 2020 homes

Also on Friday, the House of Representatives passed a fiscal year 2021 spending bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of a package of four spending bills.

“The House’s bill would fully fund the renewal of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance and Section 202 PRAC contracts,” according to Linda Couch, vice president of housing policy for LeadingAge, who noted that the House’s bill represents a $4.6 billion increase over HUD’s FY20 enacted funding level.

The bill, Couch wrote in a post on the association’s website, includes:

  • $110 million for new Section 202 homes, including a $10 million set-aside for intergenerational housing.
  • $14 million for a two-year extension of HUD’s Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing 40-site demonstration.
  • A 25% increase to the HOME program.
  • $49 billion in emergency infrastructure investments for HUD, including $2.5 billion for new Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program homes. “These funds would be outside of the regular appropriations process,” Couch said.

The Senate is not expected to act on its version of the bill until September at the earliest, she said. “There will most certainly be a continuing resolution to keep programs funded at FY20 levels from the start of FY21, on October 1, until after the November elections.”

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