The AHA today urged the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to distribute the recent Ebola emergency funding as Congress intended. “Congress provided ASPR $576 million to bolster the infrastructure for the nation’s hospitals and health care system to respond to an Ebola outbreak in the U.S.,” AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack said in a letter to the agency. “We ask that the majority of this funding be expended to reinforce this infrastructure, such that health care facilities are well-equipped now to identify, transport and treat any future patients.” The letter expresses concern that ASPR may be planning to allocate only a small portion of the funds to health care facilities that stepped forward to raise their level of preparedness to care for suspected and confirmed Ebola patients. Ebola treatment centers and assessment hospitals “have not yet been compensated for the substantial costs that they have faced to achieve readiness, and additional delays may undermine their ability to sustain the heightened level of preparedness associated with the designation,” the letter adds. AHA encouraged ASPR “to explore whether support for Ebola treatment centers and assessment hospitals could be more efficiently achieved by providing funding directly to these entities through a new mechanism.”