Brief Overview: The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 was the first piece of legislation passed to address COVID-19. This bill was an emergency supplemental appropriations bill (spending bill) that can be viewed here. Below is a breakdown of what it addresses:
Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Period: This bill provides an emergency waiver providing flexibility to Medicare providers to certain waive Medicare restrictions during the COVID-19 outbreak regarding telehealth. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive telehealth services from their homes on phones that have audio and video capabilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
FDA Funding: the bill provides $61 million in funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the purpose of developing and approving medical treatments and vaccines, monitor medical product supply chains and prevent interruptions, improve emergency use authorizations, and develop manufacturing for medical products.
CDC Funding: The bill provides the CDC with $2.2 billion in funding to help federal, state, local, and tribal governments prevent, prepare, and respond to the COVID-19. The breakdown of this funding includes:
- $950 million in grants for activities such as virus surveillance, laboratory testing, and infection control at the local level and additional preparedness activities.
- $300 million in funding to the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which supports immediate response activities during an outbreak.
- $300 million to CDC for global disease detection and emergency response.
- Reimbursement for state and local government costs incurred for coronavirus preparedness and response from January 20, 2020, to the date of the law’s enactment.
NIH Funding: The bill provides funding to various offices within the NIH and authorizes transfers of funds. This funding is intended to protect health care professionals, develop treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics.
- The Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will receive $10 million to provide training to reduce exposure for hospital employees, emergency first responders, and other workers at risk for exposure.
- Vaccines, Therapeutics, and Diagnostics: Funding is also provided for the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for COVID-19. This includes funding for NIH, the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. It also includes a requirement for entities developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics using taxpayer funding ensuring the Federal government may purchase these goods at a “fair and reasonable price” and that they will be “affordable in the commercial market” Preparedness, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Supplies, and Community Health Centers: The bill includes funding for the procurement of pharmaceuticals, masks, and protective equipment and other medical supplies to be distributed to state and local health agencies. It also includes funds for grants for Community Health Centers to prevent and respond to COVID-19. Lastly, it includes funding for medical surge capacity (increase in patients), which will increase the supply of biocontainment beds at health facilities.
- Foreign Affairs and Global Response: The bill provides funding for overseas prevention and response to COVID-19.
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loans: The bill provides the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Disaster Loans Program with $1 billion in loan subsidies to extend low-interest loans to small businesses and private non-profit organizations impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus. Information on how SBA plans to implement this provision and grant loans of up to $2 million is provided here.
For up-to-date information, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.