Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) andHouse Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) commended the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for taking the first steps to address the needs of Medicaid-dependent providers by awarding about $25 billion to providers with vulnerable patient populations. The Committee leaders reiterated, however, that more needs to be done to address the ongoing needs of large numbers of Medicaid-dependent providers that will not benefit from yesterday’s announcement.
The bipartisan, bicameral leaders wrote to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to express their concern that providers that depend on Medicaid as a large source of revenue have seen a delay in receiving the relief from the Provider Relief Fund made available through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has provided $175 billion for provider relief.
“This week’s distribution by HHS is an important step to address our concerns. HHS should build on this announcement with additional funds for providers that rely on, but do not exclusively care for, Medicaid beneficiaries, ensuring that our most vulnerable can continue to access care. There is no question how vital these providers are to their communities, especially during this public health emergency. We will continue to conduct oversight as these relief funds are disbursed and fight to ensure providers are treated fairly and that those most in need receive relief,” Grassley, Wyden, Pallone and Walden said.
According to HHS:
- Roughly $15 billion will be provided to about 38% of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers.
- Safety net hospitals will receive a distribution of $10 billion. These hospitals provide care for a higher proportion of Medicaid patients and the uninsured.
- To learn more about Provider Relief Fund, click HERE.