NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Delegation announced Friday that at least $170 million will be going toward New Mexico’s frontline healthcare providers as part of the COVID-19 relief funding.
U.S. Senators Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Lujan, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small announced that an estimated 1,793 New Mexico healthcare providers will get more than $169,486,132 to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is part of the first wave from the $150 billion grant program included in the bipartisan Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act for direct aid to health care institutions like hospitals facing financial challenges during the pandemic. The $100 billion grant program, the CARES Act’s “Marshall Plan” includes funding to replenish the national stockpile of personal protective equipment, drugs and medical equipment that health care workers need to save lives and protect themselves.
Healthcare providers face declining revenue, that revenue helps providers have the resources they need to treat COVID-19 patients and medical facilities in rural and low-income areas are most at risk. The first wave of funds will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services based on past Medicare payments.
Starting Friday, providers across the U.S. will start getting payments and funds are allocated as direct grants and healthcare institutions that receive funding are expected to be asked to commit not to ask coronavirus patients to cover the cost difference between what’s charged and what the insurer agrees to pay.
CARES Act was passed by Congress in March and provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for state, local government and tribal response efforts. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides free nationwide testing for coronavirus and additional sick leave benefits for employees with coronavirus, those who are caring for a person with COVID-19 or children affected by closures of school or childcare providers.
New Mexico Delegation comments from a press release are below:
“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to overwhelm and destabilize New Mexico’s health care system, and doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and other frontline health care workers have sounded the alarm. This funding will be a lifeline for health care providers who are on the front lines of this crisis. Congress had to act boldly and quickly to make sure the nation’s health care system has the resources to treat COVID-19 patients and to protect health care providers from this disease. I’m pleased this initial funding is out the door to New Mexico frontline health care workers – who are nothing short of heroes. I will continue to push for expeditious and fair implementation of the CARES Act to make sure funding and other relief measures get on the ground and to New Mexico communities, and I will keep working for additional resources so that our health care heroes have the resources they need to do their jobs.”U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
“I am incredibly grateful and moved by all that our health care providers are doing during this pandemic to protect and treat New Mexicans. They urgently need financial support and supplies to keep up their lifesaving work on the frontlines of this crisis. This critical funding from the CARES Act that Congress passed last month will go a long way toward providing that support. But we can’t stop here. I will continue holding the Trump Administration accountable every step of the way for delivering the resources New Mexico needs as efficiently and effectively as possible. I will also keep looking for innovative solutions to expand our health care capacity in New Mexico and create new supply chains for the personal protective equipment our health care workers need like face shields, gowns, ventilators, and masks. New Mexicans can count on me to keep doing everything in my power to secure the resources and equipment our state needs for an effective and lifesaving public health response.”U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing significant federal investments in New Mexico’s health care system and providers. Our communities need every resource possible to combat COVID-19 and save lives. This much-needed assistance for New Mexico will go far to fund a robust response to this virus. I am thankful to the health care workers and other essential personnel who are on the frontlines keeping our communities healthy and safe. Together, we will overcome this pandemic.”U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)
“Every New Mexican deserves access to quality health care during this pandemic, but there is a risk of our health care system being overwhelmed and health care providers being put at unacceptable risk. The funding we included in the CARES Act will be distributed to our hospitals, community health centers, doctors, nurses, and other frontline health care workers, to prevent that from happening. Our work isn’t finished and we will continue to press this administration to be accountable for personal protective equipment and more resources to keep New Mexico families healthy.”U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.)
“COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges for hospitals in every corner of New Mexico, some of whom have been forced into dire financial situations because of the virus’ spread. This is why I fought to secure funding through the CARES Act for hospitals in our state, many of whom are the only healthcare facility in their community. Today, I’m pleased to share this urgently needed relief will finally start to reach our providers on the front lines. I will continue to be in close contact with our local hospitals to ensure this funding reaches communities across central and southern New Mexico.”U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.)
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