The Senate today released updated legislation as part of a widespread stimulus package to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, along with the Administration, agreed on the nearly $2 trillion package early this morning, and the Senate could vote later today on the legislation.
The legislation has a number of important health care provisions, including an emergency fund for hospitals and health systems, a Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cut delay, temporary elimination of the Medicare sequester, and a Medicare diagnosis-related group add-on payment.
In a statement, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “America’s hospitals and health systems appreciate the leadership of Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer in recognizing the absolutely critical role of hospitals and health systems, and our dedicated front line caregivers, in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill includes important provisions that will help us respond, including the creation of an emergency fund grant program, additional support for taking care of COVID-19 patients and relief from spending cuts, among other provisions. This support will help those hospitals from rural and urban communities that are in dire financial need due to this devastating pandemic. The AHA supports this legislation and urges the Senate and House to act quickly to pass it.
“While this legislation is an important first step forward, more will need to be done to deal with the unprecedented challenge of this virus. We will continue to work with Congress to make sure providers on the front lines – hospitals, physicians and nurses – remain prioritized for future federal assistance as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads."