The Biden administration is releasing more than $25 billion in relief funds to health organizations from money Congress granted last year to cover financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic — after pressure from congressional lawmakers and medical groups who say hospitals are being financially pummeled by the surge in COVID-19 cases.
This funding includes $8.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan for providers who serve patients in rural areas and are covered by federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, according to federal officials. An additional $17 billion is for a range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic. About $7 billion remains in the fund to cover claims for the uninsured patients with COVID-19. Congress had approved about $187 billion in several spending bills dating to the Trump administration to help hospitals recover losses related to the pandemic. Bipartisan lawmakers in recent weeks have urged rapid disbursal of the remaining money, saying many hospitals are suffering significant financial stress from pandemic-related expenses because of a national surge in COVID-19 cases. Hospital officials have said they have seen revenue from elective procedures decline, while costs for staff, drugs, supplies and some services such as sterilization have increased. An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com. Don’t miss: Biden on prospect of legal challenges to his vaccine mandate from Republican governors: ‘Have at it’ Trending at WSJ.com: Joint replacement without surgery is on the horizon 9/11 anniversary is Pentagon’s first without troops in Afghanistan