Scranton, PA – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has led a delegation of Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Representatives in a letter calling out the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for unfairly allocating funds created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help hospitals and other providers. The delegation expressed concern that this distribution unfairly disadvantages safety-net hospitals, nursing homes, home care providers and health centers that serve Pennsylvania’s most at-risk communities, among others.
U.S. Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08), Mike Doyle (D-PA-18), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Susan Wild (D-PA-07), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06) signed on to the letter.
“We understand that you plan to address these discrepancies through future allocations of the $100 billion provided under the CARES Act and will seek to achieve rough parity – fairness in this case cannot be simply be a goal, it is imperative that you achieve it. Through this funding, Pennsylvania has received approximately $50,000 per COVID patient, while other states have received over $300,000 per COVID patient. To promote one group of providers over another or groups of states over others is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” the Members of Congress wrote in the letter.
On April 10, HHS released $30 billion in the first round of funding from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) under the CARES Act. The distribution of funds was based on a provider’s reimbursement through the Medicare Part A and B fee-for-service program in 2019. This method of distribution, allocated based on Medicare Part A and B fee-for-service claims, unfairly disadvantages states like Pennsylvania, which has a high penetration of Medicare Advantage providers.
Read the letter here.