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FAQs: Supplies

What can be done if a supply shipment is delayed at a point of entry?

If a shipment of COVID-19 supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) or test kits, is held up at a port of entry, please contact the Food and Drug Administration office covering your port of entry or email COVID19FDAImportInquiries@fda.hhs.gov with the entry number, port of entry, and other shipment details. More information is available here. (4/22)

I’m running low on PPE. Are there any recommendations for prioritizing its use or decontaminating and reusing them?

Yes, the CDC has issued detailed strategies for optimizing supplies of eye protection, isolation gowns, face masks, and N95 respirators.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorization for various mask and respirator decontamination systems. In early June, the FDA reissued emergency use authorizations that revise policy on the types of N95 respirators that can be decontaminated for reuse. Per the CDC, use of respirators that have been decontaminated should be reserved as a crisis strategy. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has collaborated with Battelle Memorial Institute to deploy its FDA-authorized emergency use decontamination system in California. The Battelle method, a vaporous hydrogen peroxide system, received FDA authorization March 29, although as noted above, the respirators that may be used with this system may have changed. Participation in the program is free to hospitals. The federal government is paying for the cleaning and system, and the state is paying for the shipping costs to and from the decontamination sites.  For details about participating, see the information packetinfographic on the sign-up process, and sample service agreement. Signed service agreements and questions can be directed to Jon Cartlidge at cartlidgej@battelle.org.  (6/11)

Are there other channels for hospitals to request funding to purchase PPE?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program is a grant program that may assist nonprofit hospitals and health systems in covering 75% of the cost of emergency protective measures. (4/12)

We’ve heard a lot about various companies and organizations offering to donate supplies. Who can we contact to potentially access those donations?

The best way is to request them through the Medical and Health Operational Area (MHOAC) Coordinator Program. See CHA’s Resource Request page for instructions on requesting supplies through MHOAC. (4/9)

Can I request pharmaceuticals or other supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile?

Yes. Hospitals need only attempt to first secure resources on their own and then, if unable to secure what they need, contact their county MHOAC Program for any resource (PPE, equipment and supplies, personnel, pharmaceuticals, acute care transfer, beds, transportation, etc.). They do not need to choose how the MHOAC can fulfill that request, such as through the Strategic National Stockpile. See CHA’s Resource Request page for instructions on how to request items through the MHOAC Program. (4/9)

One of our suppliers has suddenly tripled its prices. Is that legal?

Price gouging is illegal, and the California Attorney General is conducting surveillance on potential price gouging in the marketplace for medical supplies and other goods and services being sold to hospitals, health care providers, and others. If you have information or leads that you would like to share, please contact the California Department of Justice at oag.ca.gov/report.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are aggressively pursuing cases to prevent the hoarding or price gouging of medical supplies and drugs essential to combat COVID-19, as well as other fraud related to the pandemic. If you have been the target or victim of price gouging, or are aware of the hoarding of essential medical supplies or drugs necessary to fight the virus, please report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov. For more information, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus. (4/12)

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