FEMA Issues Additional Guidance on Public Assistance for Healthcare Nonprofits Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2020
Firm Publication

On March 19, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a Fact Sheet providing additional guidance on emergency protective measures that may be eligible for funding under the Stafford Act when incurred by a nonprofit in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.    This follows earlier FEMA guidance issued in the wake of President Trump’s March 13, 2020 declaration of a National Emergency under section 501 of the Stafford Act.

The most recent Fact Sheet provides more detailed guidance on the types of expenses for which eligible healthcare nonprofits may seek reimbursement, including, but not limited to the following:

Emergency Medical Care

  • Non‐deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical facility.
  • Related medical facility services and supplies.
  • Temporary medical facilities and/or enhanced medical/hospital capacity (for treatment when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near term and cannot accommodate the patient load or to quarantine potentially infected persons).
  • Use of specialized medical equipment.
  • Medical waste disposal.
  • Emergency medical transport.

Medical Sheltering

(e.g., when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near future and cannot accommodate needs)

  • All sheltering must be conducted in accordance with standards and/or guidance approved by HHS/CDC and must be implemented in a manner that incorporates social distancing measures.
  • Non‐congregate medical sheltering is subject to prior approval by FEMA and is limited to that which is reasonable and necessary to address the public health needs of the event, is pursuant to the direction of appropriate public health officials and does not extend beyond the duration of the Public Health Emergency.

Final Considerations for Nonprofits

These expenses will not be reimbursed by FEMA if they are eligible for funding under any program of HHS, the CDC any other federal agency, or under any private insurance policy.  FEMA funding will be at the 75% level.  Any nonprofits who are interested in seeking reimbursement from FEMA must file an initial application no later than April 12, 2020.

If you have any questions about your nonprofit’s eligibility under the FEMA regulations, please contact the authors of this alert.