The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday sent a massive COVID-19 economic relief package with billions of dollars for providers to the president's desk.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, as his deputies were involved in negotiating it. The Senate passed the measure 96-0 late Wednesday night, and the House passed it using a procedure that did not require members to record their votes.
The package includes several funding streams for providers including a $100 billion provider emergency fund, suspending the Medicare sequester, an inpatient hospital add-on payment for treating COVID-19 patients, $1.3 billion for community health centers, and speeding up and expanding advance Medicare payments to hospitals.
The bill also funnels money for the federal government to buy protective equipment in short supply and expand telehealth availability.
This third phase of COVID-19 relief legislation likely will not be the last, and healthcare industry players and lawmakers are already beginning to lay out their priorities for what's next. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she wants to see more funding for state and local governments and the healthcare system will still need "vast infusions" of new funding.
"This has been a current theme on both sides of the aisle of gratitude for our healthcare workers. We are thankful for them, we pray for them, but we need to do more for them than just say those words," Pelosi said.