AOA-Backed Legislation to Replenish PPP, Expand HHS Provider Grant Funds Signed Into Law
The AOA continues advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.
Update 3 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020
The AOA-backed legislation signed into law yesterday will provide more than $300 billion in new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) alongside $50 billion for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and another $10 billion for EIDL advanced grants—three key relief efforts fully available to doctors of optometry thanks to AOA advocacy.
The AOA encourages doctors with pending applications to contact their lenders now to get information on how those lenders plan to handle applications that were not processed prior to the lapse in funding. If doctors have not yet submitted an application and need assistance in finding a lender, review the SBA active lender spreadsheet.
The new law also includes another AOA-backed provision sending $75 billion more to the HHS Provider Crisis Relief Fund, which has already released grants to Medicare-enrolled doctors of optometry across the country. The AOA has urged for, and now expects HHS to begin distributing a second of several rounds of grant funding—with a focus on those with a larger non-Medicare fee for service patient base—beginning Friday, April 24.
Learn more about the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants and check your status. Optometry's full inclusion in these crisis relief efforts and others comes on top of specific physician recognition for doctors of optometry in Medicare's telehealth expansion, optometry students and new doctors inclusion in debt relief efforts, and ongoing work to help prepare and provide new opportunities and resources for doctors working toward resuming delivery of full comprehensive care.
While these programs and other efforts are helping, many doctors of optometry are struggling because they have not yet received the level of crisis relief that they need and deserve. The AOA will continue working with Congress and the administration to ensure that PPP, EIDL grants and advances, HHS provider grants, and other relief efforts that AOA fought for work better and faster for doctors of optometry. Right now, optometry needs help building much more support for AOA's Physician Crisis Relief Plan backed by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), and Reps. Phil Roe (R-Tennesse) and Kim Schrier (D-Washington).
Visit the AOA's Legislative Action Center or text "AOA" to 855.465.5124 to learn more about the AOA's plan for direct crisis relief for doctors of optometry and other physicians, and to weigh-in with your lawmakers in support of S. 3559 and H.R. 6365. Congress is now beginning to assemble its next crisis relief package, and many more lawmakers—specifically U.S. House members—will need to be listed as an official supporter of the AOA plan for it to be a priority for Congress to address in its next round of crisis relief legislation.
AOA member, Christopher Stansbury, O.D., was a guest speaker at a presidential news conference on April 28, 2020, discussing how the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided much-needed relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House, April 28, 2020, "President Trump Delivers Remarks on Supporting Our Nation's Small Businesses." Retrieved from youtu.be/id3s95FB7CI.
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