April 28, 2020

Manchin: West Virginia Hospitals Still Need More Emergency Response Funding

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement on West Virginia receiving an additional $34 million for healthcare providers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) through the CARES Act. Senator Manchin successfully fought for $25 billion more in hospital funding in the CARES Act than in the original proposal, and another $75 billion in the additional coronavirus relief package that passed last week.

“I’m glad to see additional support delivered to West Virginia healthcare providers. But yet again West Virginia received only 0.37% percent of the total allotment. That’s even less than we got last time around. This is why I have been advocating for specific rural set asides and a formula that accounts for Medicaid patients. West Virginians have buckled down and our COVID-19 rates are lower than expected but make no mistake, our hospitals are hurting and this does not do enough. The next round of funding must include my formula to ensure rural hospitals are not left behind,” Senator Manchin said.

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.