IHA to Congress: Send Direct Funds to Hospitals Now

In a letter sent this morning to the Illinois Congressional delegation, IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi asks Congress to send immediate and direct funding to hospitals to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among numerous requests, the letter asks Congress to provide funds to address cash flow needs as hospitals rapidly expand to meet surge capacity, access critical supplies and equipment, work to maintain a healthy and continuous workforce, create additional bed capacity—including establishment of alternative sites for patients needing sub or post-acute care, and numerous other extraordinary actions to care for Illinois patients and communities.

"As the spread of the virus grows at tremendous speed throughout the state and nation, action from Washington needs to be equally fast and strong to counter the very real threats hospitals are facing today. Illinois hospitals and healthcare workers are doing everything within their power to care for their patients and communities during this pandemic. Congress should make funds immediately and directly available to hospitals," Wilhelmi said in the letter.

Illinois hospitals and health systems are urged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators as soon as possible to tell them to deliver immediate and direct funding for hospitals. An advocacy alert is available here.

Congress is moving quickly to pass the third COVID-10 response legislation. Yesterday, Senate Republicans introduced their proposal, which includes a 15% Medicare increase for treating COVID-19 patients, a 6.2% increase in FMAP, and additional flexibilities for the provision of telehealth. A counter proposal from Democrats is expected to be released soon.