Hospitals, clinicians seek $1B to aid coronavirus response

Hospital, physicians and nurses groups asked Congress March 16 for $1 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus response, according to The Hill.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association requested the next economic stimulus package include funding "to ensure that hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses are viable and directly supported for preparedness and response."

The healthcare provider groups said they're committed to working with all stakeholders to respond to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

"We respectfully ask that Congress provide additional supplemental emergency funding of at least $1 billion during this critical window of time when we are able to best prepare and respond to this outbreak," the letter states. "We also urge that supplemental funding not be offset by cutting other health programs."

The funds would be used for several priorities, including adding patient beds, obtaining supplies and improving infection controls. Hospitals also need financial support because of the financial toll of canceling elective surgeries, the groups said.

"Such cancellations could have devastating financial implications for hospitals, physicians and nurses already at financial risk and may limit access to care," states the letter.

The House needs to pass "technical" corrections to the coronavirus stimulus bill, and the Senate is expected to vote on it later this week, according to The Hill.

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