IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), April 16, 2020 - Vizient, Inc. today urged Congress to take several actions, including making additional financial investments that would help provide relief to hospitals as they continue to care for patients and attempt to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommended actions are critical at this time as hospitals not only must continue their operations while foregoing elective procedures but also must have the resources to maintain staff, acquire needed supplies and adapt practices to prepare for possible surges in COVID-19 patients.
To support our nation’s hospitals, Vizient strongly urges Congress to increase direct financial support to hospitals by adding at least $100 billion to the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act. Although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to distribute the funds from the CARES Act, the losses hospitals are sustaining will quickly eclipse that investment, especially given the overwhelming demand for access to this fund by a variety of providers throughout the country.
Additionally, while CMS recently began distributing funds from the Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program, Vizient recognizes the need to identify additional flexibilities within the program. Notably, Vizient also urges Congress to quickly act to provide clear authority for HHS to waive loan repayment, or at a minimum, significantly reduce the interest that may be charged to providers who receive these advanced funds. Hospitals that have elected to utilize this critical program were and are facing immediate cash flow disruptions due to the practice changes associated with COVID-19, including the cancellation of elective medical services to preserve resources and prioritize care.
“We applaud the administration, Congress and regulatory agencies for their actions during this pandemic, but note that the unprecedented impact of the crisis will likely resonate for years. Without further action, the health care safety net across the country could be badly damaged with widespread hospital closures possible, which would have a devastating impact on their communities and the patients they serve,” said Shoshana Krilow, vice president of public policy and government relations for Vizient. “We are thankful for Congress’ quick actions thus far to pass the CARES Act and other critical legislation. However, it’s clear more needs to be done — and quickly — to ensure that hospitals and other health care providers are able to continue to operate throughout the country.”
The full list of Vizient recommendations to help mitigate the financial toll of the ongoing crisis and provide for essential support for hospitals is available here.
Vizient is the nation’s largest member-driven health care performance improvement company, providing innovative supply chain capabilities, data-driven solutions and expertise that lead to improved patient outcomes and lower costs.
About Vizient, Inc.
Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 95% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $100 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at www.vizientinc.com.