Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make certain outpatient care facilities eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which would help the facilities with financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PPP was created under the CARES Act. Under the plan’s rules, employees of all affiliated entities are counted in determining the number of workers employed by the business. If there are more than 500 employees, a business is ineligible.
Many outpatient care facilities and ambulatory surgery centers are ineligible because they are affiliated with nonprofit hospitals.
The Protecting Outpatient Access Act would amend the “Waiver of Affiliation Rules” provision of the CARES Act to adjust PPP eligibility standards to include outpatient care facilities and ambulatory surgery centers.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is serving as a lifeline to thousands of Ohio businesses through this pandemic,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH), who introduced the bill, said. “Facilities that provide essential care like freestanding ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis clinics, and mental health and substance abuse treatment centers are hurting right now and should be able to access critical relief funds so patient care can continue seamlessly after the pandemic.”
The bill has the support of numerous organizations, including Mental Health America and the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.