HHS mulls deadline extension for hospitals to use federal aid

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HHS is considering extending an upcoming deadline for hospitals and providers to use up federal COVID-19 relief funds, Secretary Xavier Becerra said May 12 during a hearing

Currently, hospitals and providers have until June 30 to use federal aid they received from the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund. Hospitals and providers have called on HHS to extend this deadline and distribute the billions of dollars that remain in the $178 billion fund. As of March 1, there was $24 billion in unused funds in the Provider Relief Fund. 

During a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Mr. Becerra said HHS is listening to the concerns "very, very closely."  

"What I will tell you is again, we'll be driven by facts in this case to make sure providers who have a need get those needs addressed," Mr. Becerra told lawmakers.

No timeline of a possible deadline extension was given. 

In his testimony, Mr. Becerra also said HHS will focus on ensuring the relief funds are "used appropriately," calling for investments to address fraud and waste in federal and private health insurance programs.

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