New federal funding for state nursing homes

WASHINGTON — Monday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that 33 nursing homes across Hawai‘i will receive a total of $582,015 in new federal funding as part of an incentive program to reward nursing homes for maintaining infection and mortality rates that were lower than the communities they served. These nursing homes will receive payments from the Provider Relief Fund at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which may be used to continue to prevent outbreaks in their facilities.

“These federal payments will give Hawai‘i nursing homes more resources to keep their residents safe and healthy,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We will keep fighting for more federal funding so that nursing homes across the state can continue to protect our most vulnerable communities during this pandemic.”

In August, HHS announced a $2 billion incentive program as part of the Provider Relief Fund, which is authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, to reward nursing homes that create and maintain safe environments for residents.

This round of funding, which will be disbursed on December 9, is the second of five rounds under this incentive program. 35 nursing homes in Hawai‘i were awarded a total of $839,002 during the first round in October.

Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable populations, at high risk of both contracting and dying from the virus. Senator Schatz announced $40 million in federal funding to help nursing homes respond to the pandemic earlier this year and has urged the state to take additional steps to ensure the safety of nursing home residents.

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