U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester have announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be providing $111,503,248 million for Montana hospitals and providers during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, a portion of this funding will go towards covering costs of uninsured patients for coronavirus related care.
“This is about ensuring we have the critical resources needed to provide our hospitals and healthcare professionals on the front lines the tools they need to combat the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic,” Daines said. “It is one of my top priorities to protect public health and I will continue working to support our hospitals and healthcare professionals as they work to keep us safe and healthy.”
“I have said from day one that we need to give Montana’s brave providers and health care professionals every resource available to win the fight against this virus,” said Tester. “These funds will go a long way toward shoring up our hospitals and keeping Montanans across our state healthy and safe, and I am going to keep fighting to make sure our health care providers, particularly in rural areas, get the support they need to get the job done.”
Daines fought to secure $100 billion in the Coronavirus Economic Recovery Package to ensure healthcare providers continue to receive the support they need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue. This announcement today reflects the release of the first round of this funding and additional distributions will be made.
This $111.5 million Provider Relief Fund is the first allocation from the $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act specifically for hospitals and health care providers. This fund, which Tester and his colleagues fought to secure through 72 hours of bipartisan negotiations, is intended to cover non-reimbursable expenses attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. All health care entities that provide treatment, diagnoses or testing are eligible for funding, and 1,469 of Montana’s providers and systems will receive funds.
This week, Tester sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, urging him to guarantee that a portion of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund will be set aside specifically for rural providers for health care expenses or lost revenues attributable to the pandemic.
Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana hospitals are prepared to combat the COVID-19 crisis. This week, he secured $9.1 million for Montana Community Health Centers to respond to the pandemic, and secured an additional $3 million for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council Public Health Workforce Expansion in Indian Country. He recently demanded that the Trump Administration not leave rural hospitals behind in their coronavirus response, and he voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana hospitals, workers, families, small businesses, and others hardest hit by the outbreak, which included $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.
In addition, the senators have announced that an additional $411,135 will go to the Montana Health Research and Education Foundation to improve the capacity of Montana’s health care system to plan for and respond to medical surge events during the coronavirus public health emergency.
“Montana hospitals need the resources and funding necessary to help protect public health during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic,” Daines said. “I fought to secure this critical funding to ensure our hospitals have what they need and I will continue to work with our health professionals across the state on solutions to help them meet the needs of Montanans during this crisis.”
“Montana’s frontline health care workers need all the support they can get, and this funding will help them continue to stay safe and effective during this outbreak,” Tester said. “I’m keeping up the fight to make sure Montana’s hospitals, community health care centers, and first responders have the resources they need to safely respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”