The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS ASPR) is providing an additional $250 million to aid U.S. health care systems treating patients and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, HHS has now provided a total of $350 million to health care systems for pandemic response, including $100 million released in April 2020.
“While our country mourns those we have lost from this pandemic, we continue to support America’s hospitals and heroic frontline healthcare workers who are treating COVID-19 patients and saving American lives,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This additional funding secured from Congress by President Trump will help healthcare providers prepare for and treat patients with COVID-19. By supporting coordination among different healthcare facilities across a region, HHS is helping communities care for COVID-19 patients while also addressing day-to-day medical needs.”
The funds will support hospitals and other health care entities to train workforces, expand telemedicine and the use of virtual healthcare, procure supplies and equipment, and coordinate effectively across regional, state and jurisdictional, and local health care facilities to respond to COVID-19. In addition to directly supporting health care capacity for COVID-19 patient surge, this funding will advance the mission of the National Special Pathogen System to enhance national capacity and capability to respond to highly infectious diseases now and in the future.
The National Special Pathogen System uses a systems-based, national approach to the treatment of infectious diseases and includes the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC ); 10 regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers; 62 HHS Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement recipients and their state or jurisdiction special pathogen treatment centers; and hospital associations.