Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals need help fighting COVID-19, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania declared in a letter to members of the state’s congressional delegation.
In addition to the resources sought by hospitals everywhere – equipment, supplies, funding for expanded capacity to accommodate patients suffering from COVID-19 – SNAP emphasized three specific types of assistance in its letter to the delegation:
- Help with cash flow. As requested by the federal government and others, SNAP hospitals have limited or suspended elective surgery so they can focus their resources on COVID-19 patients. This will create a cash-flow problem for them: while they will be doing everything they can to care for their patients and will be expending considerable resources doing so, their revenue will decline. These hospitals need up-front funding to replace the revenue they will lose and to help compensate them for the considerable costs they are incurring to prepare for the surge of patients they have been told to expect so they can keep the lights on, patient rooms and supply closets adequately stocked, and staff paid.
- The elimination of Affordable Care Act-mandated reductions of Medicaid DSH allotments to the states. Congress has already delayed these reductions on numerous occasions and late last year there was every indication that Congress would do so again. At a time when hospitals are facing the gravest threat to the public health that they have seen in many years they should not be forced to waste valuable time planning the reductions in staffing and spending they would need to make if the cuts are implemented as scheduled on May 23.
- No new programs or requirements in future COVID-19-related legislation that would increase hospitals’ regulatory burden. In recent weeks Congress and the administration have appropriately reduced certain regulatory requirements on a temporary basis and it would be counterproductive to offset this much-needed regulatory relief by introducing new regulations and requirements.
See SNAP’s letter to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation here.