New FEMA Eligible Medical Care Costs and ACS Guidance

May 14, 2020

On May 9, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a policy (FP 104-010-04) on eligible medical care costs. FEMA followed this policy with a fact sheet, issued on May 12, providing more information on FEMA’s reimbursement for temporary and expanded medical facilities (alternative care sites (ACS)).

The new policy clarifies that inpatient clinical care is eligible for payment and eligible costs  also include those related to both confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases, but that the costs for medical care related to treatment of a non-COVID-19 illness or injury are not eligible.  The policy confirms that costs related to temporary and expanded medical facilities may be eligible, however, it states that contracts related to such alternative care facilities must include a termination for convenience clause and requirements for documentation of the review process for decision making related to such sites. Permanent renovations to facilities are generally not eligible unless an applicant can demonstrate that the work can be completed in time to address COVID-19 capacity needs and is the most cost-effective option.

The fact sheet also addresses “war sites” – i.e., sites that have been established but now may be lesser or no longer used, but which may be needed again at a later date due to a subsequent surge.