LeadingAge Statement on HHS’ Release of $25.5 Billion in COVID-19 Provider Relief Funding

PRESS RELEASE | September 10, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

Contact: Lisa Sanders lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

September 10, 2021 Washington, DC—Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, on the release and use of an estimated $24 billion remaining in the federal Provider Relief Fund.

“We are thrilled that the application process for additional Provider Relief Funds is being opened up and that payments in this phase are structured to address the specific financial challenges of medium and small providers, as well as those who serve Medicaid, CHIP and/or Medicare patients. We’ve been pushing for more funds for months. We’ve gone to HRSA, the White House, and HHS—and we’ve talked to Congress to apply pressure. 

Aging services providers, who operate on narrow margins in the best of times, need relief after more than a year of shouldering significant Covid-related costs. For them the pandemic is not over; many are weighed down by losses and ongoing expenses for PPE, resident and staff testing, and support to retain staff.”

Results of an online survey of 800 U.S. adults released by LeadingAge in June reveal that 83% of Americans say that elected officials have failed older adults and the people who care for them by ignoring and underfunding America's aging services for decades. This sentiment is consistent across locales, including 85% of Americans in rural settings, 83% in urban settings, and 83% in suburban areas.

An overwhelming majority of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and Independents—believe now is the right time to think about building a better system for older adults. Almost 9 in 10 say that the government has an important role in ensuring that seniors are taken care of.

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.