COVID-19 Daily Updates

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Today in Washington – March 26, 2020: COVID-19 Updates

Posted on March 26, 2020 in COVID-19 Daily Updates

Published by: Hall Render

Thursday, March 26 Recap

Note – ​We believe this is the most up-to-date information available at this time, but it is subject to change ​as circumstances warrant. Also, all finalized resources can be found ​on the COVID-19 ​Resource ​Center page ​of Hall Render’s website.​

Congressional Outlook

  • Just before midnight last night, the Senate approved the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to provide financial support to individuals and businesses suffering from the fallout cause by the coronavirus. The measure passed unanimously by a vote of 96-0 with four Republican senators not voting because they are in self-isolation.
  • The legislation now moves to the House where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has indicated a voice vote will occur on Friday so that members will not have to travel back to Washington. While one member of the House could object and delay passage until lawmakers return to vote in person, the leadership in both parties doesn’t expect that to occur. President Trump is expected to sign the measure as early as Friday night.
  • Correction: Here is a revised summary of the health care provisions in the legislation that is corrected to reflect the 20% add-on payments for hospitals treating Covid-19 patients that was negotiated just before passage in the Senate. The prior amount was 15%.

HHS Bans Hoarding of Ventilators, Masks and Gloves

  • HHS announced the prohibition of hoarding or price-gouging on N95 respirator masks, various types of ventilators, medical gowns, gloves and other personal protective equipment. HHS also included hydroxychloroquine. 

Provider Groups Send HHS Letter Urging Stabilization of Provider Revenue

  • Nine national provider and physician groups sent a letter to HHS Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Verma calling on them to begin making periodic interim payments to providers. Additionally, the groups provided recommendations for how they think the process for getting funds from the CARES Act should work.
  • Larger provider groups, such as AHA and the Federation of American Hospitals, plan to send a separate letter to the Administration outlining their recommendations for distribution of funds from the CARES Act. 

DOL Releases Additional Guidance on Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA

  • The Department of Labor (“DOL”) released new information today on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) for when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.
  • The new guidance includes two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law. It also includes questions and answers about posting requirements and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s 30-day non-enforcement policy. 

From the FDA

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