|Consumer Voice Statement on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 March 11, 2021. Today, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The law directs $450 million to support care in skilled nursing facilities and $10 million for long-term care ombudsman programs. Also included is additional funding support to states for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services and increased funding for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and personal protective equipment. It includes $276 million to fund the Elder Justice Act. The Act also provides $1.434 billion in funding under the section on aging and disability services for Older Americans Act programs. |
The $450 million directed toward nursing home care includes:
$200 million to Quality Improvement Organizations to provide nursing homes with “infection control and vaccination uptake support” to prevent or mitigate COVID-19.
$250 million to states to fund strike teams for resident and employee safety. Strike teams will respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assist homes with clinical care, infection control, and staffing.
The law allocates $10 million to carry out state long-term care ombudsman programs.
The Act seeks to increase Medicaid funded Home and Community Based Services by increasing the federal financial match by 10% for these programs.
Although not specific to nursing homes, the law provides funding for vaccines and testing, which could benefit long-term care residents. It includes:
$7.5 billion will be made available to carry out activities to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines.
$1 billion to: Strengthen vaccine confidence. Provide further information and education concerning vaccines. Improve rates of vaccination.
$47.8 billion to carry out activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 infections and related strategies to mitigate its spread.
$10 billion for COVID-19 emergency medical supplies enhancement, including PPE.
$7.66 billion to carry out activities related to establishing, expanding, and sustaining a public health workforce.
The law includes $276 million to fund the Elder Justice Act through 2022. The Act also provides $1.434 billion in funding under the section on aging and disability services for Older Americans Act programs.
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