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New York hospitals in COVID-19 battle to get $5B in federal coronavirus aid funds

WASHINGTON — Ninety New York hospitals will get $5 billion for admitting high numbers of COVID-19 patients and for treating low-income and uninsured patients from a national $12 billion coronavirus aid fund, the federal government announced Friday.

In addition, 155 New York hospitals, rural health clinics and community health centers will receive $264 million from a national pool of $10 billion, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday afternoon.

“COVID-19 has financially devastated hospitals across New York state,” said Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, in a statement Saturday. “We still have a long way to go to recover, but this was a big step in the right direction.”

There were 11,598 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New York as of Thursday, the New York State Health Department reported. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday said about 1,000 new infected people were being admitted to hospitals every day.

The national $12 billion COVID-19 “hot spot” and low-income patient funding and $10 billion rural health care providers money comes from the $100 billion targeted for health care providers in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act enacted on March 27.

Federal officials did not identify the hospitals by name in their announcement.

Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, told his members that the government would transmit the money to them on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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The 395 hospitals receiving money from a $10 billion "hot spot" fund provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10 and account for 71% of all such patients based on reporting by 6,000 hospitals across the country, said the HHS announcement.

Those hospitals also will get extra funds from a $2 billion pool of money for treating low-income and uninsured patients, with the amount determined by their Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments.

Nassau County hospitals will get $61.9 million and New York City hospitals will get $451 million from that pool.

In the distribution of the first $30 billion of the CARES Act for health care funding, HHS awarded New York $1.6 billion for health care providers, but only about $860 million went to hospitals.

Raske said the federal funding for New York announced Friday is well-deserved.

“As COVID-19 bore down on the New York City region, our hospitals and their heroic workers undertook the greatest mobilization of health care resources in United States history,” he said in a statement. “At enormous financial cost, our hospitals literally prevented the health care delivery system from collapsing.”

In a letter to his members Friday, Raske credited a full-court press by his group and the New York congressional delegation for getting the funding.

“GYNHA aggressively lobbied for funding to be dedicated to hospitals in ‘hot spot’ areas,” Raske wrote. “Many hospital trustees weighed in on this issue and their leadership certainly impacted the outcome.”

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