May 20, 2020 - Health

FEMA has been another coronavirus lifeline for health care providers

A white FEMA van with a masked worker nearby.

A FEMA van parked in New York City in March. Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As of May 15, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has dished out $6.1 billion to help the health care industry weather the coronavirus outbreak, an agency spokesperson told Axios.

The bottom line: FEMA is most often on the ground after natural disasters. Now, it's a vital resource for health care systems during a catastrophic public health disaster.

The big picture: The federal $2.2 trillion stimulus package added $45 billion to FEMA's disaster relief fund. And of the $6.1 billion that has been allocated thus far, a majority has gone to either directly subsidizing providers' costs or putting people on the ground.

  • $2.4 billion was used for "medical personnel, mortuary and ambulance services," FEMA's spokesperson said.
  • Another $1.5 billion went to hospitals and other providers for personal protective equipment, other medical supplies and drugs.
  • $489 million has been routed to hospitals for other expenses outside of protective gear and supplies. Hospitals can apply for these funds.
  • Roughly $1.3 billion has been to support the National Guard.
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