PHILADELPHIA (July 28, 2020)—The Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCED) has informed the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS) that home medical equipment (HME) providers will now be eligible to receive COVID-19 hazard pay as part of the grant program for frontline workers.
A press release from the Pennsylvania governor’s office detailed that qualified employees who make less than $20.00 per hour can receive $3.00 extra per hour for ten weeks beginning in August, up to a total of $1,200 per employee who is eligible.
HME providers were added to the definition of qualified recipients following a letter to Governor Wolf and numerous emails between Mindy Eberhart, executive director of PAMS, and the Dept. of Commerce and Economic Development. Eberhart utilized AAHomecare’s templates from the American Association of Homecare’s (AAHomecare) public health emergency toolkit in her advocacy efforts, which are available for other states to use when seeking similar support in their state.
Frontline workers are putting themselves at risk daily to keep their communities cared for and provide life-sustaining services during this pandemic. These grants will help HME providers and others continue to serve patients while providing for their staff who are sacrificing so much.
"We are pleased that the Pennsylvania DCED has agreed that home medical equipment providers are eligible to apply for the hazard pay grants, as they should be," remarked Eberhart. "Our providers have faithfully worked throughout the public health emergency to continue to service their customers. We are thankful that their efforts are being recognized, and that our perseverance has paid off on behalf of our members and the industry."
“The leaders at PAMS deserve great credit for their persistent and effective engagement of the Governor’s office and other policymakers in Pennsylvania,” said Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations for AAHomecare. “Having HME personnel recognized as frontline workers is critical to ensuring that suppliers receive the financial support and policy changes that will help us better serve our communities while protecting staff and patients. This win will help us seek protections for HME suppliers in other states as we continue our work to raise the profile of this industry.”