Vizient urges Congress to provide additional relief to hospitals impacted by COVID-19

April 20, 2020

Vizient, Inc. is urging Congress to take several actions, including making additional financial investments that would help provide relief to hospitals as they continue to care for patients and attempt to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The recommended actions are critical at this time as hospitals not only must continue their operations while foregoing elective procedures but also must have the resources to maintain staff, acquire needed supplies and adapt practices to prepare for possible surges in COVID-19 patients. 

To support our nation’s hospitals, Vizient strongly urges Congress to increase direct financial support to hospitals by adding at least $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act. Although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to distribute the funds from the CARES Act, the losses hospitals are sustaining will quickly eclipse that investment, especially given the overwhelming demand for access to this fund by a variety of providers throughout the country. 

Additionally, while CMS recently began distributing funds from the Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program, Vizient recognizes the need to identify additional flexibilities within the program. Notably, Vizient also urges Congress to quickly act to provide clear authority for HHS to waive loan repayment, or at a minimum, significantly reduce the interest that may be charged to providers who receive these advanced funds. Hospitals that have elected to utilize this critical program were and are facing immediate cash flow disruptions due to the practice changes associated with COVID-19, including the cancellation of elective medical services to preserve resources and prioritize care. 

“We applaud the administration, Congress and regulatory agencies for their actions during this pandemic, but note that the unprecedented impact of the crisis will likely resonate for years. Without further action, the health care safety net across the country could be badly damaged with widespread hospital closures possible, which would have a devastating impact on their communities and the patients they serve,” said Shoshana Krilow, vice president of public policy and government relations for Vizient. 

Vizient has the recommendations

Vizient has the statement.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.