OAR has compiled information and resources to guide our providers of rheumatology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our COVID-19 resource page highlights recent activity, government announcements, and more.
The House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill (H.R.6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act) last week by a vote of 208-19. The package has not been well-received by the Senate. Leadership in the Senate has made it clear that they do not plan to move the next Covid-19 package until June.
The House introduced the CARES 2 Act/ HEROS Act6800 which includes the following health care provider provisions:
- Appropriates an additional $100 billion into the provider relief fund and includes clear guidance to ensure that funds are distributed to providers in the most equitable and efficient way. Providers will be reimbursed on a quarterly basis for all COVID-19 related expenses and a portion of their lost revenues.
- Improves the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program that has been critical to keeping providers afloat for the past few months. This bill would lower the loans interest rate, extend the payment period, and lower the amount of per claim recoupment. It also and ensures that Part B premiums are not negatively impacted by this program.
- Increases payments to facilities that serve a high proportion of Medicaid patients through September 30, 2021.
HR 6800 requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an enforceable standard to require workplaces to develop and implement a control plan based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expertise; and prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems.
Additionally, the legislation seeks to stabilize resources in the national stockpile; improve COVID-19 testing; and supports multilingual and culturally appropriate COVID-19 public awareness campaigns and research, including a focus on health disparities and populations experiencing inequity.