As Congress debates a new round of stimulus measures to blunt the human and economic toll of the coronavirus, it has an opportunity to rethink the way it supports those who are working on the front lines of the pandemic: health care providers.
The federal government’s funding mechanism to aid hospitals has not kept pace with the spread of the virus.
In recent weeks, the scope and severity of the pandemic have changed dramatically, spreading beyond population centers of the Northeast, and the federal government’s funding mechanism to support these providers has not kept pace.
The latest round of high-impact funding was announced earlier in July. The eligibility requirement was based on in-patient admissions from January 1 through June 10.
This has meant that providers in areas like the South and Southwest, where coronavirus cases have surged in recent weeks, may miss out on funding needed to help prepare for the wave coming to their communities. States like Florida, Texas and particularly Arizona have seen significant growth in cases since June 10.
As the coronavirus has spread across the nation …
Beyond New York
New York’s experience illustrates just how dramatically things have changed.
New York providers, which received $683 million of funding from the previous targeted round, had 19% of all U.S. cases through June 10. But since then, New York has had only 2% of cases. California, Florida and Texas, in contrast, have had 44%. Arizona and South Carolina have each had approximately four times the number of cases since June 10 than they did before that date.
Case counts are an important metric since they lead, or predict, death counts. But the death counts tell a similar story: Any way you look at it, the size and shape of the virus’ impact throughout the country have changed since the June 10 data cut-off.
… it has hit the South and Southwest particularly hard
Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Bloomberg
Among the many lessons of the pandemic has been a rethinking of how data is used to influence decisions. In short, the more it’s in real time, and not backward-looking, the more useful it is.
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.