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Analysis

HHS Readies $1.4B in Additional Aid for Children's Hospitals

By John Commins  
   August 14, 2020

So far, CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act funds have doled out $175 billion in relief to providers.

About 80 freestanding children's hospitals across the nation will share $1.4 billion in coronavirus epidemic-related emergency funding, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

The eligible hospitals will get 2.5% of their net revenue, beginning next week, HHS said.

"Children's hospitals have pitched in to our all-of-America COVID-19 response by providing backup capacity, extra supplies of PPE, and other support," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said.

"Throughout the distribution of the Provider Relief Fund, we have sent these funds as quickly as we can to those who have been hardest hit by the virus, and this distribution recognizes the contributions of children's hospitals helping to meet the challenges of this pandemic," he said.

The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which allocated $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other providers.

Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, thanked HHS for the latest round of funding, but said more money will be needed.

"We continue to urge the Administration to distribute additional relief to all hospitals and health systems, as well as those in so-called 'hot spots,'" he said.

AHA estimates that the nation's hospitals will record about $323 billion in pandemic-related losses this year.  

While most children's hospitals have been spared the pandemic-related surges, they've also seen their patient volumes and revenues flatten as they've suspended non-urgent surgeries offered back-up capacity for other hospitals and borne the additional costs of acquiring personal protective equipment.   

HHS has already allocated about $13 billion in CARES Act and Paycheck Protection money so far this year for pediatric and adulty safety net hospitals.

Azar said the additional $1.4 billion will target free-standing children's hospitals that are not affiliated with hospital systems.

To qualify for the aid, the hospitals must either be an exempt hospital under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services inpatient prospective payment system or be a Health Resources and Services Administration-defined Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education facility.  

“Children's hospitals have pitched in to our all-of-America COVID-19 response by providing backup capacity, extra supplies of PPE, and other support.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

HHS has already allocated about $13 billion in CARES Act and Paycheck Protection money so far this year for pediatric and adulty safety net hospitals.

The additional $1.4 billion will target free-standing children's hospitals that are not affiliated with hospital systems.

To qualify, the children's hospitals must either be exempt under the CMS inpatient prospective payment system or a HRSA-defined GME facility. 


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