|April 22, 2020
Congress: Paycheck Protection Program Update
Last week, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an important part of the most recent major COVID-19 funding relief bill (CARES Act), ran out of money. Congressional then reached a deal, known as “Stimulus 3.5.” The new bill is an interim pandemic relief bill that extends the SBA loan program included in the CARES Act (or “Stimulus 3”).
Here a short summary from outside sources of “Stimulus 3.5”:
The Senate unanimously passed the bill this afternoon. The House of Representatives is set to return Thursday, 4/24, to vote on the legislation in person.
More corrections/changes to the Paycheck Protection Program and additional funding requests are expected to be addressed in a follow-up piece of legislation referred to in Washington as “Stimulus 4.”
A critical inclusion in Stimulus 4, besides increasing PPE supplies and testing capacity must be additional help for non-hospital based physician practices. It is well known, the financial impact from suspending elective and procedures, as well as the decline in routine appointments due to patient anxiety and supply conservation has resulted in a huge business impact for non-hospital physician practices. Revenue is down sharply and they are more financially vulnerable due to their sizes. Many are in serious trouble, are furloughing employees and we can’t guarantee that some won’t close down before the pandemic ends.
We obviously agree that hospitals need support as a majority of our members are hospital employed, however, we’re hoping all access points to health care will be an ongoing priority for Maine's elected officials. The need to care for those with chronic conditions (diabetes, stable heart failure, asthma, behavioral health) and serious medical conditions requiring ongoing expensive treatment (severe heart failure, chronic renal disease, et...) remains and will be critical even after the pandemic subsides. Let's not be unprepared by unintentionally closing already minimal access points for care.
MMA staff is working on communications efforts with Maine’s congressional delegation on these very important issues. We’ll be asking for your help reaching out. #MainePhysicians #TogetherWeAreStronger< Previous Article | Next Article >
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