Hospitals seek $52B in emergency funding

The American Hospital Association is urging HHS to distribute additional emergency funds to hospitals and health systems to help offset financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a June 2 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the AHA said hospitals are losing an average of $50.7 billion per month and are facing "the biggest financial crisis in history." The group said hospitals and other healthcare providers need additional funds to recover from the financial damage. 

"We urge HHS to distribute additional funds to all hospitals, as well as to 'hot spot' hospitals and hospitals serving high numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients," the AHA said. "At the same time, it should work to create a process by which to then reimburse eligible hospitals and health systems for health care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19 through a direct application process." 

Specifically, the AHA is asking HHS to distribute $10 billion in additional funds to "hot spot" hospitals and to include an additional disbursement of $2 billion based on a hospital's low-income and uninsured patient population. The group is also urging HHS to send $10 billion to hospitals serving high numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients and to divvy up an additional $30 billion among all hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and inpatient psychiatric facilities. 

"While our members continue to do everything they can to address COVID-19 cases, quickly making substantial additional funds available would help them continue to put the health and safety of patients and personnel first, and in many cases, may actually ensure they are able to keep their doors open," the AHA said. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
Northwell receives $1B in CARES Act cash to offset COVID-19 financial damage
West Virginia hospital to close, lay off 340 employees
Arkansas hospital returns $8.8M in bailout funds received in error

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