On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, the American Hospital Association asked the Administration to release $50 billion in federal funding that they already control. The letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urged HHS to distribute additional funds not just to all hospitals, but to “hot spot” hospitals and hospitals serving high numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients. The letter also told the Secretary that he needs to “create a process by which to then reimburse eligible hospitals and health systems for health care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19 through a direct application process.”

Under the AHA proposal, they want HHS to allocate $10 billion to hot-spots, $10 billion to hospitals with high levels of Medicaid-covered patients, and the reaming $30 billion to all hospitals.

The need for immediate and direct help is a request that is increasing. Many CWLA member agencies are facing immediate challenges as the state relief is not yet getting to them directly. That situation is likely to get worse as state and local governments await action by the Senate on the next relief package, and 46 states start their next fiscal year on July 1, 2020.

CWLA has been supporting efforts to increase the state’s Medicaid matching rate (along with Title IV-E). An increase in the FMAP has been deployed in past recessions and is one of the most effective ways for Congress to help stabilize the economy. Such increases preserve health care during a public health emergency, aid local governments, and maintain other critical services threatened by this crisis.

To take action, please take 5 minutes to email your Senators and ask them to include an additional increase in the FMAP and continue to apply that increase to Title IV-E.