The CARES ACT in Hospitals
This article was written by Lisa Miller.
Learn how to secure the funding due to your hospital.
On March 27, 2020, the president signed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a $100 billion fund to support healthcare organizations like yours.
These funds will be provided through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHE Fund) and will reimburse providers for “healthcare related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.”
The funds are intended to address financial issues arising from:
- Hospital revenue reduction, as non-urgent procedures are postponed or canceled.
- The cost of critical items which are in short supply, such as personal protective equipment (PPE).
- The cost of hiring additional staff to care for higher patient numbers.
Reimbursement for healthcare related expenses or lost revenues
Under the CARES Act, hospitals can claim reimbursement for ''healthcare related expenses or lost revenues attributable to coronavirus.'' Click To Tweet
Under the terms of the CARES Act, healthcare organizations can claim reimbursement for ‘’healthcare related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.”
- Building or construction of temporary structures
- Property leasing
- Medical supplies and equipment, including PPE and testing supplies
- Hiring additional staff and the cost of training for those staff
- Emergency operation centers
- Retrofitting facilities
- Surge capacity
On April 3rd, it was announced that part of the funding will be used to reimburse costs relating to care for uninsured patients suffering from the coronavirus at Medicare rates.
An application form must be submitted by all eligible healthcare providers in order to receive funds, together with relevant documentation and ongoing reports.
Hospital leaders are facing mounting pressures and require expert leadership and experience in this time of crisis to ensure that the funding they are entitled to is secured for their organization. Key areas to pay attention to include:
Complete the application process and identify documentation
Time is of the essence for healthcare organizations. While information on the specific documentation required is yet to be clarified, healthcare leaders can begin to gather information on increased costs relating to the care of patients affected by the coronavirus. This will expedite the application process.
Hire an expert third party cost specialist to perform, validate and certify your documentation
Gaining access to funding quickly will be critical for all hospitals. Rural and small hospitals, in particular, may not have access to sufficient resources to ensure all relevant documentation is submitted correctly. Outsourcing this task to a third party provider with a proven track record in cost reduction for hospitals can minimize the time between application and receiving funds. Delays occurring through missing documentation will also be avoided.
Appoint or identify a healthcare economist on your team
Again, this step is essential to ensure accuracy of data and costs. Extracting accurate data relating to financial spend in areas such as purchased services will support your application for funds and help you to manage your costs as you move forward. Appointing a dedicated healthcare economist can ensure focus in this key area and ensure hospital departments do not operate in silos.