Rep. Neal calls for more funding for hospitals dealing with COVID-19

Hampden County

(WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to disburse additional CARES Act funds to Massachusetts hospitals.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, includes $100 billion to address the increased costs faced by healthcare providers and lost revenue.

Massachusetts received nearly $1 billion from the initial disbursement, but Neal feels that wasn’t enough.

He said the distribution short-changed many essential community hospitals that do not have a large Medicare fee-for-service revenue base, such as Holyoke Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center.

Neal said those hospitals should receive more money in the next round of funding.

“I am anticipating that money will now proceed in the second tranche to those hospitals on front lines as well,” Neal said. “We’ve done pretty well here in Massachusetts on the hospital front, and I want to make sure that continues.”

Neal added that extra funds could expand testing and hospital capacity to meet the needs of the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

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