Hospitals, doctors’ practices and other health care providers are getting another $75 billion in taxpayer money to cover the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total pot of bailout funds to $175 billion, Axios’ Bob Herman reports.
The big picture: The first $30 billion has been dispersed to providers based on Medicare billings, which raised the ire of hospitals that treat higher amounts of poor patients and children.
- The federal government has said the next “targeted distributions” will go to providers in COVID-19 hotspots, rural hospitals and groups that predominantly treat Medicaid patients.
Where it stands: Elective procedures and appointments — and the large amounts of revenue associated with them — have dramatically decreased while providers prepared for the surge of coronavirus patients and bought more protective gear for workers.
Between the lines: Critics have questioned whether federal officials are distributing the funds appropriately, and now the government will oversee even more cash.
- Small doctors’ groups, rural providers and safety net facilities have said the money is life-or-death for them, but they aren’t getting proportionate amounts.
- Meanwhile, Envision Healthcare, the private-equity-backed physician staffing firm that has become synonymous with surprise billing, has received sizable taxpayer help even as the company cuts doctors’ pay and considers bankruptcy.