Sinema-led letter calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to reverse sudden changes impacting funding for Arizona health providers during COVID-19
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema led a letter from members of the Arizona Congressional delegation to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging it to reverse changes on how Arizona health providers should define lost revenue when it comes the pandemic. The sudden change has caused confusion, uncertainty, and possible financial losses for Arizona health care providers serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic by reducing financial relief available to them.
“Arizona health care providers serve on the front lines of Arizona’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic and they deserve relief from federal agencies instead of burdensome and confusing red tape,” said Sinema.
Arizona hospitals and health care providers are still recovering from the loss of elective procedures, increased PPE expenses and the costs associated with providing coronavirus care, and they are relying on payments from the Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act to stay financially solvent. In June, HHS issued notice to Arizona hospitals and health providers defining lost revenue eligible for relief payments as the difference between budgeted revenue and actual revenue compared to the same time last year. In September, HHS reversed course and changed the dentition to the difference between year-over-year net patient care revenue. This change in the middle of a pandemic creates confusion and uncertainty for health care systems that had used the previous definition to budget and project anticipated future relief. In addition, making those changes retroactive to previous months means that some hospital systems will be required to return some of the relief they already received. The Arizona Congressional delegation, led by Sinema, is urging HHS to reverse course to provide Arizona hospitals and health facilities needed relief during the ongoing public health crisis.
Read Sinema’s full letter HERE.