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Association Urges HHS to Boost Pandemic Response

America’s Essential Hospitals this month sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the allocation of unspent Provider Relief Fund dollars and calling on the administration to bolster COVID-19 response efforts.

As the delta variant sweeps across the nation, essential hospitals are straining under increased demand and the pressures it has placed on staff. Our member hospitals continue to invest significant resources in COVID-19 prevention and response efforts and are simultaneously experiencing extreme staff shortages.

In the letter, America’s Essential Hospitals highlighted substantial investments essential hospitals have made to combat this public health crisis, all while working within tight operating margins. The association urged HHS to:

  • swiftly allocate remaining PRF funds and issue a targeted distribution to hospitals that serve racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations;
  • take steps to ensure essential hospitals are adequately staffed to respond to the pandemic;
  • expedite full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines and provide recommendations and resources on the administration of boosters; and
  • ensure the nation’s supply chain is adequately stocked with crucial supplies, such as personal protective equipment and ventilators.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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