Brindisi & Katko Fight For More COVID Funding For Central & Upstate New York Hospitals
Congressmen To HHS: New York State Was Hit Hardest By COVID; Treated 40% of COVID Patients But Only Received 9% Of Federal Funding; Prioritize Funds For Upstate Hospitals To Help Keep Their Doors Open
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressmen Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and John Katko (NY-24) have fought for additional funding for Upstate hospitals, and today announced a joint effort urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to allocate a higher proportion of money for New York State hospitals, particularly Upstate.
Brindisi and Katko noted that New York hospitals have treated 40 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 patients and only received nine percent of federal funding.
“These hospitals continue to incur significant costs stemming from the suspension of elective procedures and the sharp decline in patient volume even for critical care like heart attacks and strokes,” the members wrote. “This has forced hospitals in New York to furlough thousands of staff and postpone much-needed capital projects, as well as take on more debt which threatens their long-term viability. We urge you to prioritize funding to the New York hospitals so that they are able to maintain services and staff and weather this challenge.”
The members urged HHS to use some of the remaining $100 billion in the Provider Relief Fund to prioritize funding to New York hospitals. The Provider Relief Fund was created by the bipartisan CARES Act supported by Brindisi and Katko.
The members entire letter to Secretary Azar is below:
Dear Secretary Azar:
Please find enclosed June 1, 2020 correspondence from the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) regarding the Provider Relief Fund. We appreciate your commitment and the Department of Health and Human Services’ work thus far to address the impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We write to share our strong support for additional direct aid from the Provider Relief Fund to be distributed quickly to New York hospitals, especially in Upstate New York.
As HANYS writes in their letter: “New York’s hospitals have accessed $6.7 billion from the Provider Relief Fund, but this amount falls far short of the need.” Throughout this pandemic New York hospitals have treated 40% of the nation's COVID-19 patients yet received only 9% of federal funding. As you know, these hospitals continue to incur significant costs stemming from the suspension of elective procedures and the sharp decline in patient volume even for critical care like heart attacks and strokes. This has forced hospitals in New York to furlough thousands of staff and postpone much-needed capital projects, as well as take on more debt which threatens their long-term viability.
Hospitals in New York admirably stepped up to serve our communities during one of the most challenging public health crises in our nation’s history. We need to ensure that these institutions are made whole, as Congress intended through the passage of the CARES Act. We request that you work to establish a process that accounts for all hospital lost revenue through the distribution of the general funding pool in the Provider Relief Fund. Should you need additional resources to accomplish this, we stand ready to work with you to make that possible.
Again, as you work to distribute the roughly $100 billion remaining in the Provider Relief Fund, we urge you to prioritize funding to New York hospitals so that they are able to maintain services and staff and weather this challenge. Thank you for your continued work to address the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to continuing to work with you to serve the American people.