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NASH Asks HHS for Fairer Distribution of COVID-19 Aid

A study published this week in Kaiser Health News found that CARES Act grants to hospitals with high proportions of privately insured patients were more than twice those given to private safety-net hospitals and others that care for especially high proportions of publicly insured patients.

In light of this finding, NASH wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to point out this disparity and ask for a fairer allocation of future CARES Act money and any future funding Congress appropriates for aid to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis.

See NASH’s letter here.

NASH Recommends Targets for Next CARES Act Grants

New COVID-19 “hotspot” hospitals and private safety-net hospitals serving especially high proportions of Medicaid and government-insured patients should be singled out for grants in the next round of CARES Act funding from the Provider Relief Fund, NASH declared on Wednesday in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

NASH also urged administration officials to develop a program to identify and assist hospitals that were overlooked by previous methodologies used to identify recipients of CARES Act grants.

See NASH’s letter here.

NASH Endorses New COVID-19 Legislation

NASH has urged congressional leaders to adopt a new proposal that would, among other things, provide $75 billion for hospitals to help them respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and House minority leader Charles Schumer, NASH noted that private safety-net hospitals report that they have already exhausted their share of the $30 billion distributed to hospitals under the CARES Act and that they need additional help to offset the high cost of treating COVID-19 patients and the revenue they have lost because they have suspended non-urgent procedures.

NASH also asked congressional leaders to urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to distribute the remaining $70 billion designated for hospitals in the CARES Act as soon as possible.

See NASH’s letter here.

NASH Asks HHS for More Coronavirus Grants

Private safety-net hospitals should be among high-volume Medicaid providers that receive priority consideration in the distribution of additional grants from the CARES Act, NASH has written in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

With CMS already conceding that high-volume Medicaid providers may be shortchanged in the initial distribution of funds from the $100 billion designated for hospitals and health care providers in the CARES Act, NASH asked the two officials to “…acknowledge the special needs of these hospitals and the roles they play in their communities by ensuring that they will receive much-needed assistance in the second round of grants as well.”

See NASH’s letter here.

NASH Asks Congress for More COVID-19 Funding

More federal funding is needed for hospitals that serve especially high proportions of Medicaid patients and patients insured by government programs, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals has written to congressional leaders.

This is especially important now, NASH emphasized in its letter, because of new plans to use some of the $100 billion designated for hospitals and health care providers in the federal CARES Act to pay instead for care for uninsured patients who contract COVID-19.  Those payments, which NASH supports, do not address the needs for which the original $100 billion was designated:  to help hospitals – including private safety-net hospitals – with the cost of the investments they made to prepare for the expected influx of COVID-19 patients and to help them with cash flow problems arising from the loss of revenue associated with suspending elective procedures.

See NASH’s letter to congressional leaders here.

NASH Asks Azar to Distribute CARES Act Money Now

“Distribute as soon as possible the $100 billion designated in the [CARES] Act to assist health care providers as they deal head-on with the biggest public health crisis our country has faced in more than a century,” NASH asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a letter to Azar on Friday.

In the letter, the National Alliance of Safety-Net Hospitals wrote of private safety-net hospitals tackling the COVID-19 crisis that

Hospitals and other providers need these resources – and need them in a very timely manner. Hospitals invested heavily in preparations for the challenge to come and are still paying for those and continuing investments at a time when their cash flow is at an historic low because they are no longer performing elective surgery, which provides a major portion of their revenue. Thus, hospitals need this money to pay our bills, to keep the lights on and the medical supplies coming in, and to pay our courageous caregivers.

See NASH’s letter to Secretary Azar here.