January 28, 2022

Raid on Provider Relief Fund ‘alarming and potentially detrimental’ to senior living caregivers, groups say

McKnight Senior Living

A report that $7 billion in Provider Relief Fund dollars meant to cover pandemic-related expenses for healthcare providers instead was used to buy COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics is “alarming and potentially detrimental” to frontline caregivers, according to senior living industry representatives.

STAT news reported Wednesday that the Biden administration’s move brings the total amount of PRF dollars diverted to drugmakers to $17 billion. The Trump administration also took $10 billion from the fund, to pay Operation Warp Speed contracts to develop and buy COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, according to the report

“Assisted living caregivers have suffered massive losses due to the pandemic but have been consistently left behind in receiving equitable relief,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda told McKnight’s Senior Living. “Insead of the PRF being used to protect the most vulnerable from this pandemic, the administration used it as a piggyback for programs Congress never intended to be paid for out of the fund.”

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