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Association Urges HHS to Support Essential Hospitals During COVID-19 Outbreak

The association sent the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a March 20 letter detailing  needed federal administrative action to support essential hospitals as they respond to COVID-19.

The letter urges HHS to:

  • ensure a stable Medicaid program by withdrawing the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR), giving states flexibility to target funding, and fast track all approval processes;
  • eliminate barriers to Medicaid coverage and access to care by encouraging states and territories to implement presumptive eligibility determinations and eliminate premiums and cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment;
  • target funding and coverage for the uninsured using emergency Section 1115 demonstration waivers;
  • protect access to the 340B Drug Pricing Program;
  • ensure continued access to ambulatory networks; and
  • continue to identify and issue needed blanket Section 1135 waivers.

The association also urged HHS to work with Congress to further increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, stop the impending Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotment reductions, temporarily raise state DSH allotments, and remove remaining barriers for telehealth services and other supportive technologies.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

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

Gontscharow is a senior policy analyst for America's Essential Hospitals.

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