House passes $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

The House of Representatives has passed a $2 trillion emergency spending bill to combat the economic impact of COVID-19.

The House passed the stimulus bill on Friday via a voice vote. The measure now heads to President Donald Trump, who said he plans to sign the bill later today.

The far-reaching legislation — the largest economic stimulus bill in U.S. history — provides funding for hospitals, emergency loans for small businesses, enhanced unemployment insurance and financial assistance to Americans through direct checks to households.

The stimulus package, approved by the Senate March 25, provides more than $100 billion to hospitals, creates an emergency fund to reimburse healthcare providers for expenses or lost revenues related to COVID-19, and includes a 20 percent Medicare add-on payment for patients with COVID-19. The legislation also eliminates $8 billion in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payment cuts and temporarily suspends the Medicare sequester.

Read more about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the funding it provides for hospitals and other healthcare organizations here.

Several trade groups that represent hospitals, physicians, nurses and home healthcare providers have expressed support for the bill. The American Hospital Association called the bill "an important first step," and the Medical Group Management Association urged the administration to distribute the funds quickly.

"Now that Congress has acted, the Administration needs to move quickly and use all authority necessary to distribute direct payments to medical groups," MGMA said. "Our nation's physicians simply cannot afford another bureaucratic exercise to access these funds. This is not business as usual, and medical practices need immediate financial support."

More articles on healthcare finance:
Hospitals face financial fallout from COVID-19: 6 things to know
5 Washington hospitals face 'imminent closure' as COVID-19 wreaks havoc
West Virginia hospital closes despite pleas to stay open during COVID-19 outbreak

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