HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ Washington Enacts Additional COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill
Washington Enacts Additional COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill

On April 23, 2020 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act unanimously following a similar unanimous Senate vote at the beginning of the week. The President signed the measure into law on April 24. The measure includes a $310 billion funding extension of the small business relief program known as the Paycheck Protection Program and the following health care and research-related provisions:

  • $75 billion in hospital and provider grants to support COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue;
  • $25 billion through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for the research, development, manufacture, purchase, administration, and human resource capacity for COVID-19 testing. This funding provides:
    • $1.8 billion for the NIH to develop rapid point-of-care tests for COVID-19 and related technologies including vaccines, including through partnerships with governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
    • $11 billion for states, localities, and tribes to purchase and administer COVID-19 testing, scale up laboratory capacity and conduct contact tracing.
    • $1 billion for the CDC for surveillance, epidemiology, contact tracing and laboratory capacity expansion.
    • $1 billion for the Biomedical Advances Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for development of COVID-19 tests.
    • $22 million for the FDA for COVID-19 test development.
    • Up to $1 billion to support COVID-19 testing for the uninsured.
    • $825 million for community health centers and rural health clinics.

There are, as yet, few details on how the relief funding for hospitals will be distributed but it is likely that there will be additional clarification from agencies to ensure that funds are targeted toward facilities and physician practices that are most in need. The ATS will keep members informed of these developments. Congress is now working on drafting a fifth COVID-19 relief package, expected to be much larger and broader with potential funding for health research and services programs as well as global health. 

Last Reviewed: April 2020