Hospitals and health care providers are balancing patient care with financial and operational challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. To provide relief for some of those challenges, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed. The act, in part, provides $100 billion to support eligible health care providers through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF).
Funds appropriated under the CARES Act are available for building or construction of temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies and equipment including personal protective equipment and testing supplies, increased workforce and trainings, emergency operation centers, retrofitting facilities, and surge capacity. Additional details regarding allowable costs or how funds will be disbursed are unclear, but it is imperative for hospital and health care providers to begin tracking expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to the coronavirus.
On April 7, 2020 during the White House briefing on COVID-19, Seema Verma, Administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), stated that $30 billion from the funds in CARES Act are expected to be “put out” this week based on “Medicare revenue.” The second wave of funding will be for other healthcare providers who get the majority of their revenue from non-Medicare sources.
This article expresses an urgent plea from the American Hospital Association for timely and crucial support by distribution of funds directly to providers. Read the full letter. Other funds and relief for hospitals, including administration actions, are available in summary format courtesy of the House Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, Small Business, and Appropriations Republican Committee Staff.