Manchin Presses Pence For Increased Support For West Virginia Rural Healthcare Providers
Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) pressed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for increased support for rural healthcare providers in West Virginia in any future COVID-19 emergency funding packages. Senator Manchin has proposed that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) amend the formula used to distribute CARES Act funding because the current formula leaves rural West Virginia behind.
“Today I explained to Vice President Pence that the current formula being used by HHS to distribute CARES Act funding does not factor in rural and Medicaid patients. This leaves rural healthcare providers across West Virginia without the resources they need to stay afloat and ready to serve their communities as we all do our best to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This is unacceptable. The Vice President expressed a willingness to work with me to remedy this and I am hopeful the formula I have proposed to ensure rural providers get the funding they need will be implemented by HHS before a new round of funding is distributed,” Senator Manchin said.
The “Manchin formula” would include the following metrics when allocating future HHS funding:
· A 20 percent Rural Benchmark in the $100 billion provider fund. Without equitable formula guidelines, we believe it will be difficult for the rural providers to access the $100 billion provider grant program.
· 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.
A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here.
To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.
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