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Hospitals Advocate for Significant, Immediate, Unencumbered Funding in the Coronavirus Spending Package

On Capitol Hill, federal leaders are advancing a third spending package to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Hospital leaders are communicating the concerns of the hospital and health system community with federal officials and advocating for them to allocate significant and direct distribution of financial resources—of no less than $100 billion—to health care personnel and providers, while also directing funds to be immediately allocated by federal agencies once received.

In the context of the bill that is taking shape, HAP is advocating to be sure that Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems receive the necessary lifesaving funding to test and treat patients for COVID-19. Specifically, HAP urges elected members of Congress to:

  • Allocate direct funding for hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. This funding should account for expenses incurred due to potential COVID-19 patient surges, as well as the lost revenue as hospital efforts have turned to COVID-19 response
  • Ensure hospitals are eligible for Small Business Administration loans for businesses impacted by disasters through
  • Fund child care benefits for the health care workers treating patients suffering from COVID-19. These staff will have their hours increased significantly—often voluntarily—and many may have to self-quarantine at some point during this public health emergency
  • Eliminate or delay the implementation of any Medicaid cuts to hospitals, including Medicaid disproportionate share hospital and Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation cuts

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee have released legislative packages within their jurisdiction, and the Senate Majority Leader has expressed intent to move a comprehensive package swiftly. The White House has called for legislation to be passed by Monday.

Earlier this week, HAP sent a letter to federal legislators outlining the full scope of advocacy priorities for the Pennsylvania hospital community outlining the following items:

  • Allocating emergency funding for hospitals
  • Enhancing testing capabilities
  • Expanding coverage for treatment of uninsured and underinsured patients
  • Providing child care benefits for health care workers
  • Delaying harmful cuts to vital Medicare and Medicaid programs
  • Expanding coverage and payment for telemedicine
  • Providing regulatory relief to give hospitals the flexibility to respond to a potential increase in patient volume

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration, or Warren Kampf, HAP’s senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs.

 


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