It was meant to be a financial booster shot, a way to help hospitals and health care systems survive the economic onslaught that COVID-19 brought.
But a new report analyzing how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed shows stark disparities in which states got the biggest portions of
Hospitals in the states hardest hit by the virus in March and April --
States with the fewest cases got the most federal aid per confirmed case of COVID-19.
While the national average in federal assistance per patient was
About 41% of the
The delay, he said, has “increased ... the number of people who are laid off or are on furloughs, and is digging a deeper hole in the financial picture for hospitals and other health providers across the country.”
The delay also means providers are less prepared if COVID-19 surges again, he said.
He called on President Donald Trump’s administration to ensure that money is paid within the next four weeks, and to redistribute the remaining funds to ensure the areas that have been hardest hit by the virus get a bigger share.
Despite this delay, hundreds of millions in federal aid has already given a boost to the state’s health care systems.
In fact, Michigan’s share of the relief funding totaled about
And of that,
But knowing exactly which hospitals got what money isn’t easy to determine.
The numbers change frequently, and HHS has released information only on the funds that have been paid already to hospitals rather than money that might be heading their way, said
Since then, HHS’s data has been updated regularly, but some funds may appear more than once in the database, making it difficult to track precisely which hospitals got how much, she said.
The HHS data is “both not complete and not clear about what it includes,” she said.
While the federal aid certainly helps, “it's just a drop in the bucket in terms of what
Shutting down elective procedures and eliminating all but emergency and coronavirus care from mid-March through May in
“Hospitals are incredibly expensive to operate, and a majority of patients have insurance through a government program that doesn’t cover the cost of the care they receive,” Karasinski said.
“When you add these and other factors together, hospitals make very small profit at the end of the year. When COVID-19 arrived and most services and procedures had to stop, there was very little money coming in the door, but the hospital had to keep things up and running.”
It temporarily furloughed 2,800 workers in April across its six-hospital system.
“With the funding we have received and actions we’ve taken to date to stabilize the organization, we’re hoping to break even by the end of the year,” Olejarz said in an email.
"Federal funds were used to offset losses," she said in an email, "but did not cover all losses."
To help cover the deficits, the health system also furloughed 2,500 workers -- about 10% of its workforce -- and roughly 80 executives took pay cuts up to 25%.
Peters said he’s hopeful
“It’s not over,” he said. “... And we're still playing catch up.”
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