FEMA Updates COVID-19 Interim Policy on Medical Care Eligible for Public Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated the COVID-19 Interim Policy on Medical Care Eligible for Public Assistance (PA). This interim policy is applicable only to eligible PA applicants and defines the requirements for determining eligibility of medical care work and costs under the PA program. This updated interim policy supersedes the May 9, 2020, policy. Highlights from the updated interim policy include:

  1. Federal Cost Share Increased to 100%, retroactive to Jan. 20, 2020, continuing through Sept. 30, 2021.
  2. FEMA requires PA funding to focus on the highest risk communities and underserved populations as determined by established social and economic disadvantage measures (e.g., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index). Subrecipients must prioritize resources to ensure an equitable pandemic response and failure to comply may result in funding reductions. Prioritization of resources must be documented to ensure pandemic response and recovery efforts are conducted equitably.
  3. New eligibility of costs associated with COVID-19 vaccination. FEMA notes that, while the federal government provides the vaccine at no cost, there may be additional costs eligible for PA funding to support vaccine distribution and administration. COVID-19 vaccination eligible work and costs include:
    1. Community vaccination centers.
    2. Personal protective equipment, other equipment and supplies required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting and administrating COVID-19 vaccines.
    3. Facility support costs, including leases, utilities, maintenance and security.
    4. Additional staff, including medical and support staff not paid by another funding source.
    5. On-site infection control measures and emergency medical care for COVID-19 vaccination sites.
    6. Resources to support mobile COVID-19 vaccination in remote areas.
    7. Vaccine-related costs incurred by Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and Critical Access Hospitals that are not covered by another funding source.
    8. Communications to disseminate public information regarding vaccinations.
    9. Information technology equipment and systems for patient registration and tracking, vaccine-related inventory management, and/or analytics and reporting needs.
    10. Training and technical assistance on proper storage, handling, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations.
    11. Vaccination administration consistent with equitable pandemic response and recovery.

Members with questions should contact Renée Smiddy at the MHA