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Florida Nursing Homes Get ‘Cares Act’ Money

empty bed in a nursing home
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Florida nursing homes could begin to see additional funds associated with the federal CARES Act beginning Friday, an industry official said.

Florida nursing homes could begin to see additional funds associated with the federal CARES Act beginning Friday, an industry official said.

Florida Health Care Association Director of Reimbursement Tom Parker said Thursday that $20 billion in additional funding will be headed to facilities across the country that treat Medicare patients, as part of the federal stimulus law known as the CARES Act.

Parker said the federal government has not released details of how the money will be distributed but that the “first wave” of funding will be received Friday morning.

“If you don’t see a payment first thing in the morning it doesn’t mean you’re not going to get it, but that’s when it will start,” Parker said on a conference call that included Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees and Agency for Health Care Administration Deputy Secretary Molly McKinstry.

Parker said another $10 billion in CARES funding will be made available for what he said are COVID-19 hotspots.

Parker said current guidance from the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services directs the funding toward hospitals, but Parker said nursing homes might have reason for optimism.

“We have heard from conversations with folks at HHS that there may be additional provider types as well. We are still waiting on some clarification there,” he said.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many nursing homes have stopped accepting new residents.

Moreover, because elective surgeries have been canceled, the facilities aren't receiving rehabilitation patients from hospitals, which means less revenue.

Overhead also is increasing as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are buying more personal protective equipment and paying increased staffing costs.

The pressures, Parker said, are impacting the financial security of homes.