May 7, 2020

Ask Congress to support hospitals and health systems—and their caregivers and patients—in next COVID-19 relief package

Leaders from the Senate, House and Administration are working on proposals for the next COVID-19 relief package. While timing for the next package is still uncertain, previous COVID-19 relief legislation have come together quickly, so it is important to engage with your lawmakers immediately.

Please contact your senators and representative and ask them to include a number of important policies in the next COVID-19 relief package to support front-line health care personnel and providers—including hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses. It is imperative that Congress provide additional relief to hospitals and health systems, as an American Health Association (AHA) study released this week estimates that hospitals and health systems will see more than $200 billion in losses through June due to COVID-19.
 
The following broad provisions should be included in the next COVID-19 relief package:

  • Federal Support for Health Care Heroes—provide support for child care, housing, transportation and education benefits for hospital workers; provide bonus pay for hospital workers; and establish a compensation fund for COVID-19 health care workers and their families.
  • Accelerated Payment Forgiveness for Hospitals—provide for full forgiveness of Medicare accelerated payments for hospitals. Forgiving hospitals' accelerated payments will provide a necessary solution to recover and rebuild while delivering the care that patients and communities are depending on. Loan forgiveness efforts also help assure hospitals and health providers have adequate resources to serve communities in preparing for the fall and winter flu season, and the potential return of COVID-19.
  • Increase Health Insurance Coverage—take action to maintain health benefits for individuals and families and increase coverage options for those who are already uninsured by: providing employer subsidies for preserving enrollment; covering COBRA costs; opening a Special Enrollment Period for Health Insurance Marketplaces; increasing eligibility for federal marketplace subsidies; expanding the period during which insurers cannot cancel coverage for non-payment of premiums; and providing charity care tax credits for hospitals.
  • Federal Liability Protections—provide appropriate liability protections for facilities and front-line medical providers treating patients amid the COVID-19 crisis, for arranging for and providing health care services, including where treatment is provided, and how best to deploy personnel, equipment and facilities. View the AHA resource for more details.
Please reach out to your lawmakers today on the priority issues outlined above. A sample letter (email) for you send is available here on e-Advocacy.
 
(ZIP CODE NOTE: If your zip code includes more than one district, you will have to provide your full address, including street address, city, state and zip code.)

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