The Trump administration has said the $100 billion emergency fund created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act could be tapped to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont issues an executive order on billing for treatment of the uninsured.
Modern Healthcare: Possible $42 Billion Cost For COVID-19 Hospitalizations Among Uninsured
Treating the nation’s uninsured for COVID-19 could cost hospitals as much as $42 billion, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But with job losses mounting by the day, that figure could soar, further crowding out federal relief funds that hospitals say they need for other purposes, such as extra staffing, personal protective equipment, or making up for lost revenue from the pandemic. (Livingston, 4/7)
Modern Healthcare: Connecticut Governor Limits Hospital Billing To Uninsured
Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday issued an executive order that would only allow hospitals to bill uninsured patients for the Medicare price of their COVID-19 care. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said April 3 that the federal government is considering using a provider emergency fund to pay hospitals back at Medicare rates for costs incurred treating uninsured patients. Lamont’s order prohibits hospitals from billing uninsured COVID-19 patients until the governor issues further orders on how federal reimbursement funds will be distributed. (Cohrs, 4/7)
In other health insurance news —
Kaiser Health News: Pandemic Delays Federal Probe Into Medicare Advantage Health Plans
Federal health officials, citing a need to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, have temporarily halted some efforts to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments made to Medicare Advantage health plans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says the decision will allow insurers and the agency to “focus on patient care,” and will last “until after the public health emergency has ended.” Critics aren’t convinced that’s a wise idea. (Schulte, 4/8)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.