HHS report highlights hospitals’ ongoing challenges amid pandemic

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HHS report highlights hospitals’ ongoing challenges amid pandemic
tjordan_drupal
Mar 24, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General today reported findings from a random survey of hospital leaders last month on their most difficult current challenges responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, greatest concerns going forward and how the government could best help. 

Respondents described the significant clinical challenges in treating COVID-19 patients and concerns about other patients delaying or forgoing routine health care; the increased need for behavioral and mental health care; worsening access and financing challenges, particularly at rural hospitals; unreliable access to necessary supplies; worsening disparities in access to care and health outcomes; benefits and challenges of expanded telehealth use; staffing shortages, burnout and trauma; diversion of limited resources to vaccine efforts; and financial instability from higher costs and lower revenues.

Among specific recommendations, they said the federal government could provide support to increase care to underserved communities and address hospital staffing needs; give hospitals more time to use federal relief funds; additional guidance on the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program, Provider Relief Funds and Paycheck Protection Program; loan forgiveness or longer timelines for loan repayment; and telehealth reimbursement policies that account for the level of resources needed to provide telehealth services. 
 

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HHS report highlights hospitals’ ongoing challenges amid pandemic
tjordan_drupal
Mar 24, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General today reported findings from a random survey of hospital leaders last month on their most difficult current challenges responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, greatest concerns going forward and how the government could best help. 

Respondents described the significant clinical challenges in treating COVID-19 patients and concerns about other patients delaying or forgoing routine health care; the increased need for behavioral and mental health care; worsening access and financing challenges, particularly at rural hospitals; unreliable access to necessary supplies; worsening disparities in access to care and health outcomes; benefits and challenges of expanded telehealth use; staffing shortages, burnout and trauma; diversion of limited resources to vaccine efforts; and financial instability from higher costs and lower revenues.

Among specific recommendations, they said the federal government could provide support to increase care to underserved communities and address hospital staffing needs; give hospitals more time to use federal relief funds; additional guidance on the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program, Provider Relief Funds and Paycheck Protection Program; loan forgiveness or longer timelines for loan repayment; and telehealth reimbursement policies that account for the level of resources needed to provide telehealth services. 
 

Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

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