Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that 82 Maine nursing homes and nursing facilities have been awarded an additional $247,577 to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. This funding adds to the $10.4 million Senators Collins and King announced in August. This targeted distribution from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund is funded through $175 billion included in the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
“In the midst of this ongoing public health and economic crisis, it is crucial that the residents and staff of our nursing home communities remain supported and protected,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This additional funding will provide nursing homes with resources and training to improve infection and support our health care providers on the front lines.”
Under this distribution, nursing homes that demonstrated a significant reduction in COVID-19 related infections and deaths between August and September will be eligible to apply for additional funding to improve quality and infection control in their facilities. This performance-based payment structure will reward nursing homes for keeping new COVID-19 infection and mortality rates among residents lower than the communities they serve.
To further support nursing homes, HHS also announced today the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be partnering with America’s nursing homes to create the National Nursing Home COVID Action Network. Through the Network, AHRQ will offer training and mentorship to the approximately 15,400 nursing homes across the country to supplement efforts aimed at protecting residents and staff.
In August, Senators Collins and King announced that 93 skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes in Maine had been awarded $10.4 million to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. In May, following Senator Collins’ advocacy, Maine nursing homes received nearly $18 million that helped protect the health of residents and staff and support nursing homes struggling with significant expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. To date, Maine health care providers have received more than $490 million in relief from the HHS Provider Relief Fund.