On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden. This act allocated an additional $1.9 trillion dollars in funding to aid America in recovering from the pandemic at a local level.
While many citizens and businesses received funds from this legislation, the law did not specifically allocate as much funding as healthcare leaders would have imagined.
Or, did it?
Contained within the bill was $350 billion to help state, local, and tribal governments rebuild their local communities. Specifically, this money is being distributed through the U.S. Treasury, to the States, which are then disseminating the money to local municipalities. The structure of local government in your state will impact how the money is dispersed based upon your government structure. Therein lies the “less obvious” opportunity.
Each local municipality is permitted to distribute their allocated funding, in a manner which will have the greatest impact on their community and constituents. Local political officials will have the discretionary authority to spend this money while staying within a basic framework outlined within the rule. Healthcare and senior living providers qualify for consideration of this funding in several key ways:
- Being a Not-for-profit organization
- Being a congregate living setting
- Providing services targeted to meet the needs of the aged within their local community
- Implementing infection control and prevention strategies to mitigate future risks
So, if providers qualify, how can the funding be utilized? There are many options available that can be tailored to the unique needs of the provider. Here are a few examples that have been discussed within the rule and FAQs:
- Recruitment and Retention of Staff, Especially Front Line Caregivers
- Upgraded broadband and Wi-Fi infrastructure
- Innovative resident and family communications systems
- Improved ventilation systems
- Infection control and prevention training
- Personal Protective Equipment supplies
How Can a Provider Access this Money?
The trick is to know who to ask, how to structure the request, and what level of funding is available since it varies by municipality. Creating a complete, succinct, and targeted request, which speaks to the local municipality leaders is critical, as providers may only have one opportunity for consideration.
Additionally, it is very important providers understand the required reporting mechanism, as these dollars are reported to the U.S. and State Treasury offices. The reporting or accounting mechanisms can make all the difference.
LW Consulting, Inc. has been following this legislation for some time and keeping up with the funding release dates. We’ve added a municipal government consultant to our diverse team, who possesses three decades of experience serving in municipal government, and who is prepared to assist and represent providers in submitting funding requests.
The first round of money is was distributed in June 2021, so, the clock is ticking for advocacy.
To learn more about how LWCI can help you, set up a 15-minute discussion with one of our experts, Deborah Alexander, Director, CHC, CHPC, PMP, DPT, MED, STC, CSCS.