$1.4B in fresh COVID relief headed for freestanding children’s hospitals

Almost 80 standalone children’s hospitals across the U.S. are due to begin receiving a share of $1.4 billion in new relief funding this week.

The additional federal money is coming from the CARES Act with the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, according to an HHS announcement.

Target recipients are children’s hospitals that are unaffiliated with larger health systems, serve vulnerable populations and have taken revenue hits during the COVID crisis.

In announcing the fresh disbursement, HHS Secretary Alex Azar points out that children’s hospitals have helped in the war effort against COVID by offering backup capacity, extra supplies of PPE and other support.

The new cash infusion, he adds, “recognizes the contributions of children’s hospitals helping to meet the challenges of this pandemic.”  

To qualify for the additional relief funds, a hospital must either be exempt under CMS’ inpatient prospective payment system or be a HRSA-defined Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education facility, HHS says.

Eligible hospitals will receive 2.5% of their net revenue from patient care.

HHS announced the move Aug. 14, saying funds would begin flowing this week.