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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Signed Into Law

March 11, 2021

Today, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The law directs $450 million to support care in skilled nursing facilities and $10 million for long-term care ombudsman programs. Also included is additional funding support to states for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services and increased funding for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and personal protective equipment. It includes $276 million to fund the Elder Justice Act. The Act also provides $1.434 billion in funding under the section on aging and disability services for Older Americans Act programs. 

The $450 million directed toward nursing home care includes:

  • $200 million to Quality Improvement Organizations to provide nursing homes with “infection control and vaccination uptake support” to prevent or mitigate COVID-19.
  • $250 million to states to fund strike teams for resident and employee safety. Strike teams will respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assist homes with clinical care, infection control, and staffing.

The law allocates $10 million to carry out state long-term care ombudsman programs.

The Act seeks to increase Medicaid funded Home and Community Based Services by increasing the federal financial match by 10% for these programs.

Although not specific to nursing homes, the law provides funding for vaccines and testing, which could benefit long-term care residents. It includes:

  • $7.5 billion will be made available to carry out activities to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines.
  • $1 billion to:
    • Strengthen vaccine confidence.
    • Provide further information and education concerning vaccines.
    • Improve rates of vaccination.
  • $47.8 billion to carry out activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 infections and related strategies to mitigate its spread.
  • $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency medical supplies enhancement, including PPE.
  • $7.66 billion to carry out activities related to establishing, expanding, and sustaining a public health workforce.

The law includes $276 million to fund the Elder Justice Act through 2022. The Act also provides $1.434 billion in funding under the section on aging and disability services for Older Americans Act programs. 
 

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