In April 2020, the US Department of Health and Human services distributed $50 billion to the Medicaid as well as CHIP providers. Unfortunately, these $50 billion were not distributed among all of the recipients and there were almost 275,000 providers that did not receive the funds. Hence, HHS’ announced in June that it is going to distribute $15 billion more to the Medicaid providers, this time focusing more on the ones that did not receive the funds the previous time.
The reason behind these funding is to make up for the loss that all these Medicaid providers are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These healthcare providers are also the one who are helping us the most in the fight against the virus. By dealing with the patients first hand, they are exposing themselves to the virus to help the patients of coronavirus.
In the announcement that was made, Alex Azar, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said,
“Healthcare providers who focus on treating the most vulnerable Americans, including low-income and minority patients, are absolutely essential to our fight against COVID-19,”
Talking about the source of these funds, Azar further said,
“HHS is using funds from Congress, secured by President Trump, to provide new targeted help for America’s safety-net providers and clinicians who treat millions of Medicaid beneficiaries.”
Looking at the current situation of the country, we can say that this was certainly the kind and the right thing to do. A small way of letting these healthcare providers know that we are thankful for their services and acknowledge, as well as, appreciate the sacrifices they are making for the citizens of this country. Bruce Siegel, the CEO and the president of the America’s Essential Hospitals, a MD and an MPH, said’
“We thank the administration for its step today toward responding to our requests, and to calls by congressional lawmakers and others, for COVID-19 funding targeted to hospitals that care for vulnerable patients,”
Siegel further said’
“The heavy costs of battling the coronavirus continue and likely will linger long after this crisis ends. This outlook and the earlier funding gaps that let many hospitals fall through the cracks demand that Congress and the administration keep the focus on the safety net and providers caring for our most disadvantaged people and communities.”
In order to apply for the funds, all the Medicaid providers have to provide their data to the Provider Relief Portal. The portal will then analyze their payments and hence decide whether they are eligible or not. As mentioned before, priority will be given to those who did not receive the funds in April.
In the words of the president and the CEO of the AHCA/NCAL, Mark Parkinson,
“Not only are our residents – seniors and those with underlying conditions – most at-risk if they contract COVID-19, but of these individuals, those who also rely on Medicaid are especially vulnerable due to the program’s notorious underfunding for care. These nursing home, assisted living and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities urgently need these resources from the federal government to acquire testing, equipment and staffing to protect their residents.”