Shaheen, Hassan, Kuster & Pappas Supported Robust Financial Assistance in New Law to Help Granite State Health Care Providers Mitigate Revenue Shortfall Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced today with Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire health care providers received $164.5 million from an initial installment of health care provider grants established under the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was recently passed by Congress and signed into law. By standing firm during negotiations and demanding a better bill, Senator Shaheen and the delegation helped improve the legislation that ultimately became law, boosting funding for health care providers by $25 billion. In total, the law includes $100 billion for health care providers, the first $30 billion of which was dispersed to providers throughout the country today. In this first allotment, New Hampshire providers received $164.5 million.
“New Hampshire hospitals, physicians, nursing facilities, community health centers and other health care providers have been pleading for funding to keep the doors open and deal with increased expenses and revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19. The federal dollars dispersed today could not have come soon enough,” said Senator Shaheen. “I fought for this investment in health care provider grants and refused to walk away from the negotiating table until I was sure it was the best possible deal to help New Hampshire providers and communities mitigate the health and economic hardships caused by the coronavirus outbreak. I’m pleased that this first allotment is out the door and in the hands of our providers so they can continue their critical work fighting this pandemic. Our work certainly doesn’t end here. I’ll continue to work across the aisle and with every level of government to ensure our providers, and all those on the frontlines, have the resources they need to weather this storm.”
“New Hampshire’s front line health care workers are working around the clock to confront COVID-19, but they are in desperate need of additional resources in order to keep up with the increasing demand,” said Senator Hassan. “This additional federal funding will help New Hampshire health care providers treat more patients and make up some of the losses from cancelling elective procedures. However, we know that more federal funding will be necessary in order to combat this public health emergency, and ensure that New Hampshire citizens continue to have access to quality health care. I will continue working with the rest of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to secure more resources for those on the front lines.”
“Since the COVID-19 crisis began, I have heard from Granite State hospitals, health centers, and health care providers about the financial challenges they face from increased costs and a decline in revenue as a result of this virus," said Congresswoman Kuster. “This funding through the CARES Act will provide financial relief and support to health care providers to help ensure they have the resources to continue caring for patients. These facilities are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and I'll continue working to ensure that they have the funding they need to get through this public health emergency.”
“Our health care providers are battling coronavirus on the front lines each and every day, and we owe it to them to provide every available resources as fast as possible so they can continue saving lives while remaining safe themselves,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am pleased to see more funds from the CARES Act are arriving in New Hampshire, especially ones that directly support our health care community– and I will continue working with our federal delegation and the administration to advocate for every last dollar that we need. There is no time to waste - every day we wait for funds puts more lives unnecessarily at risk.”
Following conversations with Granite Staters and during negotiations on the CARES Act, Shaheen called on Senate leadership to prioritize a number of health care-related issues in the legislation, including a boost in funding for health care providers on the front lines. Earlier this week, Shaheen led a bipartisan call with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and 32 other Senators, calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to waive or modify interest rates for health care providers who’ve sought financial assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic through a separate program that was expanded by the CARES Act, the “Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments Program.” This program has historically been used to expedite Medicare payments to subsets of Medicare participating providers during very limited circumstances where there is disruption in processing or submission of claims for Medicare services. This program was expanded under the CARES Act to allow for hospitals, physicians and other Medicare-participating providers to apply for upfront payments from Medicare to help cover revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.
The New Hampshire congressional delegation has fought to secure additional funding and supported numerous efforts to help the state in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following calls from the delegation and others in Congress, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of coronavirus. In addition to the CARES Act, the delegation fought for and voted in favor of two economic response bills to provide financial relief to states in their response efforts, and to support workers, businesses and families impacted by the spread of the coronavirus. The President signed both bills into law. The first economic package led to New Hampshire receiving an initial $4.9 million in funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).