Sarbanes, Maryland Congressional Delegation Urge Trump Administration to Release COVID-19 Funds for Nursing Homes

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and the Maryland Congressional Delegation today urged the Trump Administration and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to immediately distribute funds included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.

“As you know, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act [P.L. 116–136] included $200 million for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to assist nursing homes with infection control and support states’ efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes,” the Members wrote. “However, CMS has not yet released any of these funds. Given the significant challenges facing these facilities during this pandemic, we strongly urge you to disburse this funding as expeditiously as possible.”

The Members continued: “Out of Maryland’s 227 long-term care facilities, more than 150 of those facilities had COVID-19 cases as of April 20. Earlier this month, a 200-bed facility in Northwest Baltimore announced that it had 170 positive COVID-19 cases among residents and staff, making it one of the largest long-term care facility outbreaks in the country. This follows a large outbreak at a Carroll County, Maryland nursing home where nearly 30 residents have died and more than 120 residents and staff tested positive.”

The Members conclude: “It is imperative that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have the resources they need in order to prevent more of these devastating outbreaks. We believe that the disbursement of these CARES Act funds is an important first step in bolstering their ability to prepare and respond to COVID-19.”