The House and Senate have passed by wide bipartisan margins and the President has said he will sign the bill, H.R. 133, that includes the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2021 that encompasses all 12 government funding measures for fiscal year 2021, a coronavirus supplemental appropriations, and additional stimulus and relief provisions.
The COVID-19 relief provisions include $3 billion for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to reimburse health care providers for lost revenue and other expenses related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
There are legislative provisions that may affect the ability of dental schools to receive this long denied assistance. These new provisions permit health systems to move targeted distributions within its system and includes other provisions concerning parent and subsidiary relationships. ADEA has requested clarification of the Trump Administration’s Department of Health Human Services (HHS) of the meaning of these provisions but has not yet received a response. A similar request will be made of the Biden Transition HHS Team.
There is also a provision that directs a substantial portion of the remaining PRF funds to losses occurring in the third and fourth quarter of calendar year (CY) 2020 and the first quarter of CY 2021. This language is new, very brief, and targeted in time. It is clearly done to solve a specific or anticipated problem but because of the nearness of the holidays that has scattered Congressional and Administration officials ADEA staff has not yet been able to gain an understanding of the purpose and meaning of this proviso. When we do, we will update this posting with that information.
The Labor-HHS Subcommittee portion of the appropriations bill which contains those programs of most interest to dental education is favorable to oral health. The final appropriation includes $40.7 million for the Oral Health Training Program including the set aside of $12 million for both Pediatric Dental Residencies and General Dentistry Residencies, as well as $2 million of the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is funded at $484.9 million, this is a 2% increase above the FY 20 level of $477 million. The Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) which the House funded at $15 million and Senate did not fund, received the House level of $15 million.
The COVID-19 Supplemental Appropriations portion also includes $22.7 billion for the Higher Education Relief Fund. Of this $20 billion is to be distributed to public and private non-profit institutions; $908 million to for-profit colleges for financial aid to students; $1.7 billion for HBCUs, tribal colleges, and MSIs; and $113 million for institutions “with the greatest unmet needs and those not served by the primary formula, such as independent graduate schools.”
ADEA staff continues to review the 5,593-page bill and discuss with colleagues in other associations the provisions and their implications. As new information is uncovered it will be posted on ADEA Connect and at the ADEA Advocacy website. If you have any questions, please do not to hesitate to contact Tim Leeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-236-5354.
 HHS has continuously erroneously (and despite our repeated corrections) referred to dental school clinics as “subsidiaries” of academic medical centers.
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