Take Action: State Advocacy

HAP continues to advocate with state officials and lawmakers to support Pennsylvania's hospitals during this challenging time. The Pennsylvania health care community cannot fight this pandemic, nor recover from it, alone. Learn more below about how organizations and individuals can advocate to support the health care community.

Help Pennsylvania’s Hospitals: Contact Your Lawmaker

A few minutes of your time can make a significant difference in ensuring the long-term stability of our hospitals

Pennsylvania hospitals care for the sick, improve the health of our communities, and are an integral part of the economy.

Pennsylvania’s hospitals are experiencing extreme financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue from cancelled “non-essential” surgeries—as much as 40 percent of their revenue—is falling, while COVID-19 expenses stack up. Hospitals continue to:

  • Develop surge capacity
  • Maintain staffing
  • Purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies
  • Provide child care for staff and overtime pay
  • Dedicate units to COVID-19 wings for treatment
  • Set up drive-through testing sites

Based on total net patient revenues of $47.7 billion during 2019, Pennsylvania hospitals are losing more than $1.5 billion per month.

HAP is asking the Governor and state lawmakers to help keep our hospitals financially stable with the initiatives below. Click on the heading to learn more about each effort, the advocacy tools available, and what you can do to support Pennsylvania's hospitals.

COVID-19's Impact on Hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the sustainability of Pennsylvania hospitals and the communities they serve. View HAP's new infographic in our Resource Center.

HAP Infographic about Hospital Losses from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Establish a Healthcare Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund

Immediately authorize emergency funding to directly support medical, health care, behavioral health, and human service workers on the front lines

Background: The need to provide Pennsylvania health care with critical financial resources to support ongoing efforts to treat patients who test positive for COVID-19 and to prevent further spread of the virus are both short and long term. Hospitals have suffered huge losses of revenue and incurred very large costs, and need more financial relief to survive and thrive in this new environment.

HAP is requesting funding to support Pennsylvania’s frontline health care providers in addressing the unprecedented public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with its financial impacts. The fund would contain resources to help health care providers address their losses and their costs which included:

  • Creating capacity for surge demand
  • Purchasing and creating clinical infrastructure
  • Providing temporary housing
  • Supporting the health care workforce
  • Other crucial items

Advocacy Tools:

Establish Liability Protections During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Background: Frontline health care workers are risking their lives to care for and protect Pennsylvanians during this pandemic. During these unprecedented conditions, Pennsylvania should allow these workers to continue to treat COVID-19 patients without fear of being sued.

HAP is asking lawmakers to provide legal protections to health care workers, hospitals, and other health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 6, 2020, Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order to provide medical liability protections for health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. This order protects individual, licensed medical providers – including physicians, nurses, and other health care workers – from lawsuits that arrive from providing emergency services related to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this order does not extend to Pennsylvania’s hospitals.

HAP is asking lawmakers to include hospitals in these protections, to prevent frivolous lawsuits being brought against the facilities where medical personnel providing front line medical care are employed.

  • Call or email your lawmakers through Healthy Me PA to demand that they recognize the risks that hospitals are taking in the midst of the pandemic. A letter has been created for your use
  • Utilize and share the TAKE ACTION link with your health care community to contact your legislators in the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office and ask them for medical liability protections for health care workers
  • Share the graphic HAP has developed for your use on social media outlets or via email
  • Advocacy Tools:

    • Customizable Liability Protections Letter to Lawmakers
    • Protect Health Care Workers Graphic for Social Media
    • Draft letter to Governor Wolf
    • Joint letter to Governor Wolf and Members of the General Assembly
    • Joint letter to Members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation

    Funding Designed as Quality Care Assessment Relief

    Provide approximately $500 million so that hospitals are put in a better financial position

    Background: Pennsylvania's Quality Care Assessment (QCA), adopted during 2010, assesses each hospital in the state quarterly based on net patient revenues. A portion of the funds go to the state's General Fund and the remainder is used by the state to make Medicaid payments to hospitals, which are then matched by federal dollars.

    For fiscal year 2019–2020, the third quarter assessment due date was May 5, 2020, and the fourth quarter assessment due date was June 5, 2020. Despite strong advocacy efforts, both May and June payments were required by Pennsylvania hospitals.

    In response to hospitals not receiving the requested QCA relief, while compounding the continuation of significant COVID-19 financial losses, HAP has shifted its advocacy strategy.

    HAP is seeking financial relief for hospitals and health systems—in the amount of $500 million—the equivalent of two QCA payments. With this amount, and the creation and funding of the Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund, policymakers will provide relief at what remains a critical time for hospitals.

    Advocacy Tools:

    Insurer Payment Solutions

    Background: Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made important legislative and regulatory changes to expand the Medicare accelerated/advanced payment programs, which allows hospitals and other eligible providers to request accelerated Medicare payments. This is intended to serve as a tool to help hospitals access stable cash flow.

    HAP is advocating to establish periodic payments to health care providers from commercial insurers and within the Medicaid program, similar to recent changes that were made in the Medicare program.

    HAP Contacts:

    If you have questions or would like more information about HAP's state advocacy efforts, contact Warren Kampf, HAP's senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs, Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Sarah Lawver, director, advocacy activation. Media inquires should be directed to Rachel Moore, HAP's director, media relations.

    COVID-19 hospital patient being treated

    January 21, 2021

    Biden Administration Announces National Strategy to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

    During his first full day in office, President Joe Biden signed ten executive orders to address the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing a national strategy to speed the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, mandate mask-wearing on public transportation, and increase the production of necessary supplies and personal protective equipment.