HHS hasn't delivered $72B in bailout funds to hospitals, Senate report says

Congress passed legislation in March and April that provided a combined $175 billion in funding for hospitals and other healthcare providers to help offset lost revenue and expenses linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS has yet to distribute $72 billion, or 41 percent, of the approved funds, according to a report released June 23 by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee. 

The financial strain of the pandemic is pushing many hospitals and other healthcare providers toward insolvency, according to the report, which called on HHS to expedite distribution of the remaining funds within four weeks. 

"The administration's failure to distribute this much-needed relief in a timely and equitable manner to the hospitals who need it most imposes a consequential financial toll and jeopardizes health care for patients," states the report. "Nearly every day of delay has resulted in additional furloughs and greater strain on scarce hospital resources throughout the U.S." 

In addition to distributing the remaining approved funds, the committee report recommends that Congress pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, which includes an additional $100 billion in grants for healthcare providers. The report also recommends that HHS make additional disbursements to hospitals in COVID-19 hot spot areas and rural and safety-net hospitals. 

Read the full report here

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