Possible FEMA Funding Available for COVID-19 Expenses

March 23, 2020


Possible FEMA Funding Available for COVID-19 Expenses

As part of President Trump’s emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was directed to assist eligible entities, including hospitals, with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public. As part of that assistance, eligible emergency protective measures taken at the direction or guidance of public health officials could be reimbursed under Category B of the FEMA Public Assistance program. Pertinent to hospitals, FEMA may reimburse for the provision of eligible medical care which includes items such as:

  • Triage and medically necessary tests and diagnosis
  • Treatment, stabilization, and monitoring
  • First-aid assessment and provision of first aid
  • A one-time 30-day supply of prescriptions for acute conditions or to replace maintenance prescriptions
  • Vaccinations for survivors and emergency workers to prevent outbreaks of infectious and communicable diseases
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Consumable medical supplies
  • Temporary facilities, such as tents or portable buildings for treatment of survivors
  • Leased or purchased equipment for use in temporary medical care facilities
  • Security for temporary medical care facilities
  • Use of ambulances for distributing immunizations and setting up mobile medical units

It is important to note that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the lead federal agency responding to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and FEMA will not reimburse hospitals or other entities for items covered by HHS. Furthermore, FEMA will not provide reimbursement for services covered by a patient’s insurance.
Because we are unsure at this time what HHS will be reimbursing, hospitals should consider tracking and documenting all services, resources and supplies used as part of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This documentation will be needed should it be determined eligible expenses exist. Further information about the FEMA Public Assistance program can be found on IHA’s COVID-19 webpage. FEMA has indicated that it will be waving the 30-day deadline that is usually required and will accept applications through the duration of the Public Health Emergency.