President and CEO
American Hospital Association
April 22, 2020
America’s hospitals and health systems appreciate the announcement from HHS regarding the distribution of additional funds from the CARES Act emergency relief fund. As urged by the AHA, this will help hospitals with a high percentage of payments under Medicare Advantage and hospitals caring for high numbers of Medicaid patients. We also are pleased that HHS has allocated additional targeted relief for hospitals in hot spots and rural hospitals.
Nobody has been a stronger advocate for covering the uninsured than America’s hospitals and health systems, particularly during a public health emergency. That’s why we continue to encourage Congress and the Administration to look at other options to provide coverage for treatment of the uninsured for the Coronavirus other than utilizing the emergency fund from the CARES Act. This could include opening up a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, using the National Disaster Medical System or other federal emergency programs, and creating a new, separate fund to specifically address the costs associated with treatment of the uninsured. The emergency relief fund in the CARES Act was intended to provide hospitals with an infusion of emergency relief as providers incur substantial expenses and lost revenue in preparing and fighting this battle against COVID-19.
The AHA continues to urge remaining emergency funds to be sent as soon as possible to all providers on the front lines. This funding is a life-line to hospitals and health systems and will help ensure that we can continue to deliver the care that our patients and communities are depending on.