Reps Gibbs, Kaptur Lead Bipartisan Effort to Provide Relief for Hospitals
Congressman Bob Gibbs and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur led a massive bipartisan effort to urge Congressional leadership to continue providing desperately needed financial relief for America’s hospitals in the next phase of legislation in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The response to the outbreak of COVID-19 has upended daily hospital functions, forcing them to lay off employees, and limit non-coronavirus care. As a result, regular revenue streams have been disrupted. While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act delivered funding to hospitals to treat COVID-19, the Medicare Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program has the potential to cripple health care providers in the near future as Medicare payments are withheld until those advanced payments are repaid.
Congressman Gibbs and Congresswoman Kaptur, joined by 87 colleagues, and backed by hospitals and health care systems across the country, are requesting provisions for loan forgiveness for hospitals and providers facing dire financial circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The emergence of the coronavirus has disrupted the lives of nearly every American and thrown a wrench into every sector our economy,” said Congressman Gibbs. “The health care industry and hospitals that provide necessary care are reeling after government actions effectively shut down many non-coronavirus related services and procedures. The economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt for months, if not years. Payments on Medicare services are critical to these hospitals but recovery and the return to normal operations for them will not happen overnight. The next step in the federal response needs to include consideration for loan forgiveness for hospitals and healthcare providers. Thank you to this bipartisan coalition for recognizing the importance of this issue and to Congresswoman Kaptur for working with me find a resolution.”
“Hospitals are facing their most severe economic crisis in more than 50 years,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Our nation’s hospitals have ramped up quickly in preparation to serve patients during this ongoing crisis, but the budget shortfalls they are experiencing due to the scaling back of other services unrelated to COVID-19 is having a catastrophic impact on their operations and finances. In the time of a national pandemic, our communities cannot afford to lose even a single hospital. It is our duty to ensure these hospitals have the ability to keep their doors open and continue to treat and care for patients. As a means to save our hospitals, Congress should immediately pass legislation to forgive Medicare advance payment loans in the next coronavirus relief bill. I thank my colleagues, especially Rep. Gibbs, for their bipartisan support.”
Ed Roth, President and CEO of Aultman Health Foundation and Tom Strauss, President and CEO of Sisters of Charity Health System an Interim President and CEO of Mercy Medical Center released the following statement in support of Gibbs’ and Kaptur’s work:
“Aultman and Mercy applauds Congressman Bob Gibbs and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur for taking a leadership role to protect hospitals throughout the country. Hospitals in Stark County and throughout the nation are facing significant financial and resource challenges as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress passing the Kaptur-Gibbs loan forgiveness efforts helps assure hospitals and health providers have adequate resources to serve our community as we prepare for the fall and winter flu season, and the potential return of COVID-19.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.