The House today by voice vote passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748). The legislation is the third large-scale congressional effort in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Senate passed the bill 96-0. President Trump is expected to sign it.

The legislation provides financial relief and resources to individuals, families and businesses particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 public health emergency. It also includes a number of important health care provisions. An emergency fund for hospitals and health systems, a Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cut delay, temporary elimination of the Medicare sequester, and a Medicare diagnosis-related group add-on payment together are estimated to make available $117 billion in new funding for urban and rural hospitals and health systems.

AHA continues to evaluate the potential financial impact of new loan opportunities.

In a statement after the Senate passed the legislation, AHA said the legislation will help those hospitals from rural and urban communities that are in dire financial need due to this devastating pandemic.

“While this legislation is an important first step forward, more will need to be done to deal with the unprecedented challenge of this virus,” AHA said. “We will continue to work with Congress to make sure providers on the front lines — hospitals, physicians and nurses — remain prioritized for future federal assistance as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.”

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