HHS to distribute $ 10 billion in additional COVID-19 funds to hospitals in ‘high impact’ areas

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to start distributing $ 10 billion in additional relief funds to hospitals in areas hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials on Friday said the second round of high-impact funding – part of the $ 175 billion in aid funds allocated to health care through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act – would begin to flow. be distributed to hospitals in “high impact” areas the week of July 20.

More than 1,000 hospitals will receive funding from this slice of money.

Most of the funds go to Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania, where hospitals receive a total of $ 740 million, $ 683.6 million and $ 654.6 million, respectively.

“The top priority for the administration of the Supplier Relief Fund by HHS has been to obtain support as quickly as possible for those suppliers who have been hit hard by COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Alex. Azar, in a statement. “Because we have carefully targeted support, we can make payments in areas that need it most as the pandemic progresses, as we are doing with this round of funds. “

The HHS previously informed hospitals in June of its intention to distribute a second round of funding to high-impact areas. To determine eligibility, HHS asked them to submit data on admissions of hospitalized patients positive for COVID-19 between January and June.

Officials said funding was based on a formula for hospitals with more than 161 COVID-19 admissions during that period – or one admission per day – or that experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID-19 admissions. Hospitals will be paid $ 50,000 per eligible admission. (The first round of funding was based on a formula that distributed funds to hospitals with at least 100 COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and April 10 and paid $ 76,975 per eligible admission.)

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has commended the administration for the funds intended for “hot spot” hospitals.

As we have requested, hospitals with a high number of COVID-19 admissions need help immediately to help offset the significant costs incurred in treating COVID patients, as well as to manage the financial losses due to the decrease in patient visits for non-COVID care, ”said AHA president. and CEO Rick Pollack in a statement. “However, since this allocation of funding for ‘hot spots’ does not take into account the latest spike in cases and hospitalizations in parts of the country, we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that relief is provided. additional will be distributed to ‘hot spots and all hospitals.’

As different parts of the country face new waves of positive cases, the HHS “will continue to assess and provide needed relief where possible,” officials said in a statement.

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