On March 27, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The goal is to provide much needed relief to businesses and citizens during this unprecedented time as the nation responds to COVID-19. The government claims individuals, small and big businesses, healthcare sector, public programs and education sector will see the most impact.
You can review a section-by-section summary of the CARES Act, but perhaps the most significant topics for nurse practitioner practice are found in the section focused on “Supporting America’s Health System in the Fight Against the Coronavirus.” It includes provisions to:
- Fund $16 billion for increased manufacturing and purchasing of equipment and supplies to protect healthcare workers and patients.
- Mitigate emergency drug and medical device shortages.
- Expand testing capabilities and patient access to COVID-19 testing.
- Provide more than $1.3 billion of additional funding for public health centers, rural health and telehealth capabilities.
- Authorize nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists to order home health services to increase safe access to care.
- Reauthorize healthcare workforce development programs, including Title VII Nursing Workforce Development Programs.
NAPNAP and our members have been advocating for many of these provisions through calls to action, Capitol Hill meetings and collaborations with our child health and advanced practice nursing partners. NAPNAP will continue to work with the administration and Congress to address the needs of children and families and support APRNs and their fellow healthcare providers and facilities during this emergency and the recovery to follow. Thank you for your efforts and please continue to advocate for your patients and our profession.