Reps. Williams, Johnson Urge HHS to Provide Greater Relief for Texas Hospitals and Clinics
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting the agency distribute an additional allocation from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) to high impact areas that experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases after June 10th. The state previously received $575 million under the PHSSEF and there is currently nearly $40 billion left for distribution to health care providers nationwide.
“It’s vital that our hospitals and clinics receive additional relief so they can provide our families and communities with the highest level of care possible while we recover from the pandemic,” said Congressman Williams. “Due to the June 10th cutoff date for previous funding under the PHSSEF, many health providers in our state did not receive an appropriate allocation to help offset increased costs and lost revenue because of our later COVID-19 surge. I thank Secretary Azar for his work to ensure our communities receive the appropriate resources and I look forward to our continued partnership as we serve Texans.”
“During this pandemic, we must ensure that our hospitals, community health centers, and health systems have the resources they need to care for our most vulnerable populations. That is why I am proud to lead this letter with my colleague Congressman Roger Williams,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “We request that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services consider an additional hotspot funding distribution from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. These dollars would support high impact areas with recent surges of COVID-19 cases, which would include communities across Texas. We must remain committed to preserving accessible health services during this global public health crisis.”
The letter reads: “On July 17, 2020, HHS made payments in the second round of COVID-19 High-Impact Area Targeted Distribution for hospitals with a COVID-19 admission count over 161 between January 1 and June 10, 2020. Texas is thankful for the $575 million that was distributed to our eligible providers. Unfortunately, the eligibility time window does not properly reflect when COVID-19 hospitalizations began surging in Texas.
“Because of the June 10 cut-off date for the High-Impact Area Targeted Distribution, numerous Texas health providers did not receive an appropriate allocation of funds to help offset increased costs and lost revenue from the COVID-19 surge in the state. Therefore, we respectfully request an additional allocation for high impact areas from the remainder of the provider relief funds appropriated by Congress.”
Click here to view the letter online.
Congressman Roger Williams represents the 25th Congressional District of Texas and serves as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services.