May 04, 2020

Manchin: Rural Healthcare Providers Need More Funding

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on West Virginia healthcare providers receiving funding allocated specifically for rural providers in the additional emergency response funding package.

“Today West Virginia was awarded $159.6 million for our rural healthcare providers. This is welcome news and I hope it will aid our underfunded rural providers. But we can do better. 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. That doesn’t add up. My proposed formula would prioritize vulnerable populations – like WV with our high elderly population – and communities with a high number of Medicaid recipients. This would ensure rural communities across West Virginia and the country would receive the resources they need to provide top-notch healthcare throughout this pandemic,” said Senator Manchin.

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. 

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.