10.27.20

Gardner Secures New Certainty for CO Health Providers

At Gardner’s Request, HHS Changes Reporting Requirements That Could Disadvantage Rural Hospitals

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a revision to its reporting requirements for providers that have received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments, after U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and 30 of his U.S. Senate colleagues raised concerns with HHS Secretary Alex Azar about the requirements having the potential to create financial hardships and uncertainty for hospitals across the country, especially those operating in rural areas.

“In the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, our health care providers need more certainty, not less. The CARES Act, enacted in March 2020, established the PRF to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care-related expenses and lost revenues attributable to the coronavirus. Hospitals and other providers received funds and have budgeted accordingly,” Senator Gardner and his colleagues wrote. “However, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and providers continue to face uncertainty in terms of loss of revenue from delayed procedures and care as well as increased expenses related to COVID-19.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Secretary Azar:

We write today with concern regarding the Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements published on September 19, 2020. We have grave concerns this change in reporting requirements for funds received from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) will create uncertainty and financial hardship for hospitals in our states, particularly in rural areas. In the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, our health care providers need more certainty, not less.

The CARES Act, enacted in March 2020, established the PRF to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care-related expenses and lost revenues attributable to the coronavirus. Hospitals and other providers received funds and have budgeted accordingly. However, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and providers continue to face uncertainty in terms of loss of revenue from delayed procedures and care as well as increased expenses related to COVID 19.

Based upon the impact of these changes to access to health care, we urge you to carefully consider any policies that disproportionately affect rural and safety net hospitals.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.