The Phase Three Senate Republican stimulus legislation released Sunday afternoon (March 22), H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), would provide aid for small businesses, industries and families impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, including direct cash payments for Americans, as well as $75 billion for coronavirus response payments to health care providers.  The Republican crafted bill also would expand Medicare coverage for telehealth services and allow those with high-deductible plans and health savings accounts to access telehealth before reaching their deductible.  The legislation would permit federally qualified and rural health clinics to treat patients using telehealth.  The bill also would limit liability for volunteer health care professionals during the COVID-19 emergency response.

The $75 billion is less than the $100 billion originally sought by the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association.

At 6 PM Sunday evening, the Senate held a procedural vote on the $1.6 trillion emergency package.  The GOP lacked the 60 votes needed to proceed, necessitating the continuation of bipartisan talks.  House leaders plan to introduce their own stimulus bill.

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers will continue to provide updates on the pending federal stimulus legislation and the potential impact on health care providers