June 10, 2020

Manchin Applauds $196 Million For West Virginia Hospitals Through Provider Relief Fund

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of $10 billion in Provider Relief Fund payments with $196,971,716 for 13 West Virginia safety net hospitals that serve our most vulnerable citizens.

“Today 13 West Virginia hospitals received welcome news that they will be receiving $196 million from the HHS Provider Relief Fund to support hospitals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While this funding is a step in the right direction, we must continue to advocate for dedicated rural funding for our rural hospitals and rural healthcare providers who have been hit hard by the global health crisis,” Senator Manchin said. “West Virginia ranks sixth for the highest number of rural providers in the country receiving these funds, but despite that ranking we received the 29th highest payment for rural specific payments. That’s just plain wrong. My proposed formula would prioritize vulnerable populations, like our elderly West Virginians and would create dedicated rural funding for our hospitals and providers. As we continue to battle this pandemic, I will fight for every West Virginia healthcare provider to receive the support they need to provide quality care to West Virginians in need.”

Safety net hospitals are defined as those with a Medicare Disproportionate Payment Percentage of 20.2 percent or greater, average Uncompensated Care per bed of $25,000 or more, and profitability of 3 percent or less as reported to CMS.

Senator Manchin has proposed HHS alter the formula to distribute emergency funding to hospitals include the following metrics:

  • A 20 percent Rural Benchmark in the Provider Relief Fund.
  • Priority should be granted to facilities that have been significantly affected by COVID-19 preparation. Rural facilities have lost 50 percent to 80 percent of revenue due to the elimination of non-emergency services as they prepare for a COVID-19 surge. Access to funds is critical. If they do not receive relief, most will close by the time the surge hits their rural community.
  • Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for a disproportionally high percentage of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

  • Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for populations with above average senior populations or co-morbidities that are particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 and for populations in areas with limited access to health infrastructure.