CHA Calls on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to immediately release additional CARES Act funding especially to Medicaid and Safety Net Providers

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2020
Contact: Brian Reardon

Statement by Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – “The mission of Catholic health care to extend God's healing love to every person remains strong as Catholic health systems, hospitals, long-term care facilities and providers in the United States continue to face extraordinary challenges as they care for COVID-19 patients. Over the past four months, Catholic Health Association (CHA) members have urgently worked to care for COVID-19 patients and their communities by not only providing critical care but also standing-up new facilities, isolation units, testing areas, virtual technology and scrambling to acquire unprecedented amounts of critical care machines, testing and personal protective equipment to treat the most seriously ill coronavirus patients. They recognized the need to make these immediate emergency investments and upend all of their operations in order to meet the critical needs of COVID-19 patients and their communities.

“And while CHA member hospitals have stepped up to care for all those in need during this pandemic, their normal overall volume has decreased dramatically this spring. In April, operating room volume was down 61% compared to April 2019; hospital discharges fell 30% year-over-year, and emergency room visits fell 43%. Hospitals and health systems across the country are suffering unprecedented financial losses as a result of COVID-19 with operating margins in April falling 282% year-over-year.    

“While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides critical financial support for providers as they respond to the pandemic, the overall funding dispersed to date does not come close to making up for the expenses incurred and the unprecedented drop in revenue that has occurred because of COVID-19. It is critically important that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services immediately expedite the distribution of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund established by the CARES Act to support all the health care providers on the frontlines of this pandemic, especially those hospitals and providers who serve a large number of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured individuals. We are especially calling on HHS to expedite CARES Act funding to Medicaid providers and Safety Net Hospitals, many which have yet to receive any funding.

“While the trend of COVID-19 cases and deaths is moving in a positive direction, the pandemic is far from over and the long-term financial health of all hospitals, long-term care facilities and particularly those serving the most vulnerable, must be addressed to ensure everyone has access to life-saving medical care during this ongoing public health crisis.”

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The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
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