(305 ILCS 5/5-5.7a)
    Sec. 5-5.7a. Pandemic related stability payments for health care providers. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, and in accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall develop a process to distribute pandemic related stability payments, from federal sources dedicated for such purposes, to health care providers that are providing care to recipients under the Medical Assistance Program. For provider types serving residents who are recipients of medical assistance under this Code and are funded by other State agencies, the Department will coordinate the distribution process of the pandemic related stability payments. Federal sources dedicated to pandemic related payments include, but are not limited to, funds distributed to the State of Illinois from the Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") and from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund pursuant to Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, that are appropriated to the Department during Fiscal Years 2020, 2021, and 2022 for purposes permitted by those federal laws and related federal guidance.
        (1) Pandemic related stability payments for these
    
providers shall be separate and apart from any rate methodology otherwise defined in this Code to the extent permitted in accordance with Section 5001 of the CARES Act and Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and any related federal guidance.
        (2) Payments made from moneys received from the
    
Coronavirus Relief Fund shall be used exclusively for expenses incurred by the providers that are eligible for reimbursement from the Coronavirus Relief Fund in accordance with Section 5001 of the CARES Act and related federal guidance. Payments made from moneys received from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund shall be used exclusively for purposes permitted by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance.
        (3) All providers receiving pandemic related
    
stability payments shall attest in a format to be created by the Department and be able to demonstrate that their expenses are pandemic related, were not part of their annual budgets established before March 1, 2020.
        (4) Pandemic related stability payments will be
    
distributed based on a schedule and framework to be established by the Department with recognition of the pandemic related acuity of the situation for each provider, taking into account the factors including, but not limited to, the following:
            (A) the impact of the pandemic on patients
        
served, impact on staff, and shortages of the personal protective equipment necessary for infection control efforts for all providers;
            (B) COVID-19 positivity rates among staff, or
        
patients, or both;
            (C) pandemic related workforce challenges and
        
costs associated with temporary wage increases associated with pandemic related hazard pay programs, or costs associated with which providers do not have enough staff to adequately provide care and protection to the residents and other staff;
            (D) providers with significant reductions in
        
utilization that result in corresponding reductions in revenue as a result of the pandemic, including, but not limited to, the cancellation or postponement of elective procedures and visits;
            (E) pandemic related payments received directly
        
by the providers through other federal resources;
            (F) current efforts to respond to and provide
        
services to communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, including low-income and socially vulnerable communities that have seen the most severe health impacts and exacerbated health inequities along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines; and
            (G) provider needs for capital improvements to
        
existing facilities, including upgrades to HVAC and ventilation systems and capital improvements for enhancing infection control or reducing crowding, which may include bed-buybacks.
        (5) Pandemic related stability payments made from
    
moneys received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be distributed to providers based on a methodology to be administered by the Department with amounts determined by a calculation of total federal pandemic related funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly for this purpose. Providers receiving the pandemic related stability payments will attest to their increased costs, declining revenues, and receipt of additional pandemic related funds directly from the federal government.
        (6) Of the payments provided for by this Section made
    
from moneys received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, a minimum of 30% shall be allotted for health care providers that serve the ZIP codes located in the most disproportionately impacted areas of Illinois, based on positive COVID-19 cases based on data collected by the Department of Public Health and provided to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
        (7) From funds appropriated, directly or indirectly,
    
from moneys received by the State from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022, the Department shall expend such funds only for purposes permitted by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance. Such expenditures may include, but are not limited to: payments to providers for costs incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; unreimbursed costs for testing and treatment of uninsured Illinois residents; costs of COVID-19 mitigation and prevention; medical expenses related to aftercare or extended care for COVID-19 patients with longer term symptoms and effects; costs of behavioral health care; costs of public health and safety staff; and expenditures permitted in order to address (i) disparities in public health outcomes, (ii) nursing and other essential health care workforce investments, (iii) exacerbation of pre-existing disparities, and (iv) promoting healthy childhood environments.
        (8) From funds appropriated, directly or indirectly,
    
from moneys received by the State from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, the Department shall establish a program for making payments to long term care service providers and facilities, for purposes related to financial support for workers in the long term care industry, but only as permitted by either the CARES Act or Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance, including, but not limited to the following: monthly amounts of $25,000,000 per month for July 2021, August 2021, and September 2021 where at least 50% of the funds in July shall be passed directly to front line workers and an additional 12.5% more in each of the next 2 months; financial support programs for providers enhancing direct care staff recruitment efforts through the payment of education expenses; and financial support programs for providers offering enhanced and expanded training for all levels of the long term care healthcare workforce to achieve better patient outcomes, such as training on infection control, proper personal protective equipment, best practices in quality of care, and culturally competent patient communications. The Department shall have the authority to audit and potentially recoup funds not utilized as outlined and attested.
        (8.5) From funds appropriated, directly or
    
indirectly, from moneys received by the State from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund, the Department shall establish a grant program to provide premium pay to front line workers at facilities licensed by the Department of Public Health under the Nursing Home Care Act as skilled nursing facilities or intermediate care facilities.
            (A) Awards pursuant to this program shall
        
comply with the requirements of Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and all related federal guidance. Awards shall be scaled based on a process determined by the Department. The amount awarded to each recipient shall not exceed $3.17 per nursing hour. Awards shall be for eligible expenditures incurred no earlier than May 1, 2022 and no later than June 30, 2023.
            (B) Financial assistance under this paragraph
        
(8.5) shall be expended only for premium pay for eligible workers, which must be in addition to any wages or remuneration the eligible worker has already received and shall be subject to the other requirements and limitations set forth in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance.
            (C) Upon receipt of funds, recipients shall
        
distribute funds such that eligible workers receive an amount up to $13 per hour but no more than $25,000 for the duration of the program. Recipients shall provide a written certification to the Department acknowledging compliance with this paragraph.
            (D) No portion of these funds shall be spent on
        
volunteer or temporary staff, and these funds shall not be used to make retroactive premium payments before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
            (E) The Department shall require each recipient
        
under this paragraph to submit appropriate documentation acknowledging compliance with State and federal law. For purposes of this paragraph, "eligible worker" means a permanent staff member, regardless of union affiliation, of a facility licensed by the Department of Public Health under the Nursing Home Care Act as a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility engaged in "essential work", as defined by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance, and (1) whose total pay is below 150% of the average annual wage for all occupations in the worker's county of residence, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, or (2) is not exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions.
        (9) From funds appropriated, directly or indirectly,
    
from moneys received by the State from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024 the Department shall establish programs for making payments to facilities licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act and facilities licensed under the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013. To the extent permitted by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and related federal guidance, the programs shall provide:
            (A) Payments for making permanent improvements to
        
resident rooms in order to improve resident outcomes and infection control. Funds may be used to reduce bed capacity and room occupancy. To be eligible for funding, a facility must submit an application to the Department as prescribed by the Department and as published on its website. A facility may need to receive approval from the Health Facilities and Services Review Board for the permanent improvements or the removal of the beds before it can receive payment under this paragraph.
            (B) Payments to reimburse facilities licensed
        
by the Department of Public Health under the Nursing Home Care Act as skilled nursing facilities or intermediate care facilities for eligible expenses related to the public health impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including, but not limited to, costs related to COVID-19 testing for residents, COVID-19 prevention and treatment equipment, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment.
                (i) Awards made pursuant to this program
            
shall comply with the requirements of Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and all related federal guidance. The amount awarded to each recipient shall not exceed $1.71 per nursing hour. Permissible expenditures must be made no earlier than May 1, 2022 and no later than June 30, 2023.
                (ii) Financial assistance pursuant to this
            
paragraph shall not be expended for premium pay.
                (iii) The Department shall require each
            
recipient under this paragraph to submit appropriate documentation acknowledging compliance with State and federal law.
(Source: P.A. 101-636, eff. 6-10-20; 102-16, eff. 6-17-21; 102-687, eff. 12-17-21; 102-699, eff. 4-19-22.)