Congress created the fund final yr to assist hospitals and different well being care suppliers struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the earlier administration, the function fell to a deputy secretary, however the Biden administration has not yet determined if that’s the way it will deal with the fund, the official mentioned, noting that it’s nonetheless staffing up the company.

The fund is run by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The performing administration is briefing senior stage employees on the fund weekly.

Congress final yr established the Provider Relief Fund to assist hospitals, nursing properties and different well being care suppliers pay for coronavirus-related bills and offset income losses from suspending elective procedures. Hospitals and nursing properties urged the Biden administration and Congress to add more cash to the fund in its $1.9 trillion reduction package deal final month, however lawmakers solely put aside an extra $8.5 billion for rural hospitals and suppliers.

Hospitals contended early final month that solely $4.4 billion was set to stay within the fund by the top of March, due to a provision in December’s $900 billion reduction deal that required more cash be distributed.

Yet the pandemic stays a supply of economic stress for many medical facilities, they contend. They proceed to deal with many coronavirus sufferers, who require extra intensive and dear care, and are nonetheless paying a hefty premium for employees, notably nurses, and private protecting tools. At the identical time, many are seeing fewer non-Covid sufferers since some folks stay reluctant to go to well being care services for concern of contracting the virus.

An HHS official informed NCS that “officials in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR) provided regular briefings to the transition team on the PRF and continue to meet regularly with senior HHS leadership as the administration reviews all programs and policies including considerations for the PRF program.”

The information was first reported by STAT.


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