Waiver de­nied

CMS: No cash re­lief for hos­pi­tals hit by Sandy

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - Me­lanie Evans

The CMS de­nied New York state’s re­quest for emer­gency cash re­lief for health­care providers that lost rev­enue or saw ex­penses soar as su­per­storm Sandy forced the evac­u­a­tion of hos­pi­tals and nurs­ing homes.

In Novem­ber, the state re­quested $427 mil­lion un­der a Med­i­caid waiver that would have awarded the great­est re­lief to hos­pi­tals closed by the storm. The re­lief re­quest also in­cluded hos­pi­tals that saw ser­vices dis­rupted by lost power or tem­po­rary dam­age, those that took in evac­u­ated pa­tients and trans­porta­tion providers.

“CMS no­ti­fied DOH in late De­cem­ber that while the waiver pro­posal had merit, it was deemed that the ex­ist­ing chan­nels avail­able to pro­vide as­sis­tance, in­clud­ing those through FEMA, Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion and other fed­eral pro­grams, were more ap­pro­pri- ate,” said Bill Sch­warz, a New York State Health De­part­ment spokesman. “The State Health De­part­ment is con­tin­u­ing its work to se­cure sources of fed­eral re­lief for providers.”

The U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives ap­proved Sandy re­lief funds last week. Ac­tion on the $50.5 bil­lion aid package was ex­pected in the Se­nate this week.

The lethal storm, which hit Oct. 29, forced the evac­u­a­tion of nine New York and New Jersey hos­pi­tals. Flood­wa­ters closed five New York hos­pi­tals to ad­mis­sions for sev­eral weeks. Three re­main closed to in­pa­tient care.

The New York City Health and Hos­pi­tals Corp. es­ti­mated it will lose $183 mil­lion in rev­enue be­tween Novem­ber and Fe­bru­ary. Flood­wa­ters dam­aged and closed the pub­lic sys­tem’s Belle­vue Hospi­tal Cen­ter and Coney

Is­land Hospi­tal to in­pa­tient care. Coney Is­land Hospi­tal be­gan to ad­mit some psy­chi­atric pa­tients at the end of De­cem­ber. Belle­vue Hospi­tal, which has 788 beds, is not ex­pected to ad­mit pa­tients un­til Fe­bru­ary.

HHC of­fi­cials ex­pected the Med­i­caid re­lief package to cover half of the lost rev­enue, said Mar­lene Zu­rack, the sys­tem’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer. Zu­rack said the sys­tem has cob­bled to­gether cash to pay bills with­out the rev­enue, but will no longer be able to do so af­ter June, when an­nual debt ser­vice and pen­sion pay­ments are due.

“We cer­tainly could not af­ford this un­ex­pected loss of rev­enue,” she said. Cash ex­pected from the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency, she said, pays for re­pairs, not op­er­at­ing losses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.