June 2, 2020 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has doled out emergency funding to hospitals and health systems to help hospitals with support and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the American Hospital Association considers those funds a first step — and today, the AHA sent a letter to HHS requesting more.
The additional funds that are required are “substantial,” according to the AHA — about $50 billion in total — and should be distributed to hospitals and health systems in an expedited manner using a phased approach.
The AHA cites numerous state and local orders decreeing that many elective procedures remain cancelled, as well as many Americans’ voluntary postponement of needed care. COVID-19 treatment has resulted in skyrocketing demand for medical equipment and supplies, which in turn have increased costs.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
To quantify that, AHA estimated a four-month financial impact of more than $202 billion in losses for hospitals and health systems, averaging more than $50 billion per month. The organization said all hospitals need additional funds, but in particular the “hot spot” hospitals and those serving high numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients.