Senate passes $484B coronavirus relief deal with more aid for hospitals

The Senate on April 21 passed a $484 billion aid package that renews funding for a small-business loan program, boosts aid for hospitals and expands testing for COVID-19. 

The Senate unanimously approved the bill, called the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, after more than a week of negotiations between lawmakers and the Trump administration. The bill now heads to the House, which plans to approve it by April 23, according to CNBC

The aid deal includes more than $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $60 billion for the small-business disaster fund, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to ramp up COVID-19 testing, according to NPR

President Donald Trump tweeted April 21 that he intends to sign the bill. 

Hospital groups are pleased with the additional funding but said there's more work to be done. 

"While we appreciate Congress taking swift action — more still needs to be done to defeat COVID," Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn said in a statement. "It is important that HHS distributes the funding in a timely, well-targeted fashion. And it remains mission-critical to reform the Medicare Accelerated Payment Program so that it does not impede hospitals' ability to meet patient needs."

More articles on healthcare finance:
Banner Health cuts exec pay, plans to furlough up to 7% of employees
COVID-19 financial damage forces West Virginia hospital to close
HCA records 44% drop in profit, pulls 2020 guidance

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