April 10, 2020 In the News

NH health care providers receive $164.5 million in federal funds through CARES Act

By John DiStaso
April 10, 2020

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire health care providers have received $164.5 million in federal funds from the recently-passed $2 trillion coronavirus response package to help hospitals and other providers address the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The state’s congressional delegation made the announcement Friday, explaining that the funds are an “initial installment” of grants established by the CARES Act, totaling $30 billion nationally.

Additional installments are expected when the remainder of the $100 billion in health care provider grants funded by the package are disbursed.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office said a total of 1,445 providers are receiving funds from this first installment, including virtually all of the state’s hospitals, as well as individual physicians, nursing facilities and community health centers.

The announcement by the all-Democratic delegation said that the CARES Act bill that was ultimately passed into law included $25 billion more for health care providers across the country than would have been funded in the initial bill, which was supported by Republicans but put on hold for several days by Senate Democrats and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“By standing firm during negotiations and demanding a better bill, Sen. Shaheen and the delegation helped improve the legislation that ultimately became law,” the announcement said.

“New Hampshire hospitals, physicians, nursing facilities, community health centers and other health care providers have been pleading for funding to keep the doors open and deal with increased expenses and revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19,” said Shaheen, who was involved in CARES Act negotiations focusing on the funding for small businesses.

“I fought for this investment in health care provider grants and refused to walk away from the negotiating table until I was sure it was the best possible deal to help New Hampshire providers and communities mitigate the health and economic hardships caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” she said in a statement.

Shaheen was joined by Sen. Maggie Hassan and Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas in promising to continue to work for additional the federal funding that they said is necessary for providers and front-line responders to continue to effectively deal with the crisis.

“This additional federal funding will help New Hampshire health care providers treat more patients and make up some of the losses from cancelling elective procedures,” Hassan said. “However, we know that more federal funding will be necessary in order to combat this public health emergency and ensure that New Hampshire citizens continue to have access to quality health care.”

Kuster also noted that hospitals, health centers and providers have faced a decline in revenue as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

“This funding through the CARES Act will provide financial relief and support to health care providers to help ensure they have the resources to continue caring for patients,” she said.

Pappas said health care providers deserve “every available resource as fast as possible.”

“There is no time to waste. Every day we wait for funds puts more lives unnecessarily at risk,” Pappas said.

The funds are in addition to the $1.25 billion in base coronavirus response stimulus funding received by the state two weeks ago; 147 million for education, public transportation, child care and other needs; $11.7 million for cities and town for uses including emergency shelters to prevent homelessness; and $6.8 million received this week for nine community health centers and the city of Manchester, announced this week.

The first coronavirus response package provided an initial payment of $4.9 million.

Earlier this week, Shaheen led a bipartisan letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to waive or modify interest rates for health care providers that have sought financial assistance during the pandemic through a separate program that was expanded by the CARES Act, the Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments Program.