As negotiations around fiscal year 2022 government funding continue, Vizient, Inc. shared a letter with House and Senate leadership urging Congress to consider hospital policy priorities to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last several years, America’s hospitals and healthcare professionals have been strained by increased COVID-related hospitalizations, staffing shortages, inflation and other rising costs.
Congress has provided critical relief to hospitals in multiple legislative packages during the pandemic, but the needs continue—and those challenges have accelerated with the rapid surge of the Delta and Omicron variants. Vizient urges Congress to provide critical investments in the Provider Relief Fund, support investments in both current and future health care workforce, suspend pending Medicare sequestration payment cuts, provide additional repayment flexibility to the Advanced and Accelerated Payments Program, and ensure 340B hospitals continue to maintain their eligibility in the program.
“Hospitals and healthcare professionals are burnt out and feeling the weight of these ongoing challenges,” said Shoshana Krilow, senior vice president of public policy and government relations for Vizient. “Congress has taken many essential steps to provide critical support for hospitals and caregivers, but more relief is needed to aid our nation’s hospitals and their staff as they continue to operate under enormous clinical and operational pressures.”