Gillibrand To Congress: Provide COVID-19 Relief Funding for NY Hospitals

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[COVID-19\New York Hospitals]
Se. Gillibrand: “New York’s hospitals have been on the frontlines of the coronavirus response and the financial strain is staggering. Our hospitals are in dire need of resources."
Photo: YouTube

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on Congress to provide financial relief to hospitals struggling to stay afloat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Senate leadership, Gillibrand called for Medicare accelerated/advanced payment program loan forgiveness for hospitals across New York. To date, New York State has experienced nearly 400,000 confirmed cases, nearly 100,000 hospitalizations, and approximately 25,000 deaths. New York's hospitals have had to make significant investments to prepare for and respond to the surge of coronavirus patients at significant cost, while losing billions of dollars in revenue. Hospitals in New York reported an average revenue loss of over 40% in March alone, and were losing at least $750 million per week at the beginning of the pandemic.

While the CARES Act authorized the Medicare accelerated/advanced payments, a lifeline for many hospitals, the steep interest that accompanied the loans coupled with ongoing financial devastation, has left many hospitals unable to repay. Without additional federal support, New York hospitals will be forced to make disastrous cuts like reducing critical health care services and laying off essential health care workers.

“New York’s hospitals have been on the frontlines of the coronavirus response and the financial strain is staggering,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our hospitals are in dire need of resources to continue to care for New Yorkers and I will continue to prioritize funding for our health care system. Congress must ensure that our local hospitals receive federal support in the form of loan forgiveness in order to continue keeping New Yorkers healthy and safe.”

“HANYS greatly appreciates Senator Gillibrand’s continued advocacy for our hospitals, including her support for establishing loan forgiveness under the Medicare Accelerated/Advance Payment Program,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “Our hospitals continue to experience devastating revenue losses and extraordinary costs due to this ongoing pandemic. They are simply not in a position to repay these loans. Loan forgiveness is a critical step toward helping hospitals weather this pandemic and ensuring that they can continue to be there for patients and their communities into recovery and beyond.”

“Senator Gillibrand knows that hospitals and health systems continue to heroically battle the COVID-19 crisis despite daunting financial losses,” said Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) President Kenneth E. Raske. “She also understands that while Medicare advance payments were a critical lifeline during the worst of the surge, Congress must now protect hospitals from those funds’ severe repayment terms. We thank Senator Gillibrand for her unwavering commitment to protecting and strengthening New York’s health care delivery system.”

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