Closed hospitals received part of $50B bailout

Some closed hospitals received grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and are trying to return the funds to HHS. 

The CARES Act, signed by President Donald Trump March 27, includes a $100 billion emergency fund to reimburse hospitals and other healthcare providers for expenses or lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first $30 billion of $50 billion in general grant funds was delivered between April 10 and April 17 based on historical share of Medicare revenue.

"This simple formula, working with the data we had, was used to get money out the door as quickly as possible," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said

When the first slice of funding was sent, Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services said it received $3.5 million in grants for two closed hospitals: Fairmont (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center and Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va. 

The hospitals did not request the grants and are working with HHS to return the money to the federal government, an attorney for Alecto told Times West Virginian

Alecto is also seeking information from HHS about whether it's entitled to any of the funds sent for Fairmont Regional Medical Center. HHS distributed the grants based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements, and Fairmont Regional remained open until March 19, 2020. 

HHS has begun distributing the remaining $20 billion in general grant funds. The agency is also sending $10 billion to hospitals in the states hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and another $10 billion to rural hospitals and clinics. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
HHS unveils plan to deliver $40B in COVID-19 aid to hospitals
Indiana University Health's operating income drops 50% in Q1
Hospitals urge HHS to cut interest rate on advance payments

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