FOLLOWING SCHUMER’S DIRECT ADVOCACY TO SECRETARY BECERRA, AUBURN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL TO RECEIVE OVER $3.4 MILLION IN LONG-OVERDUE FEDERAL FUNDING TO COVER PANDEMIC LOSSES; SCHUMER CUT THROUGH RED TAPE & DELIVERED AUBURN HOSPITAL THEIR DESERVED FUNDING
Auburn Community Hospital Was One Of The Only Qualifying Hospitals In NY Yet To Receive Its Most Recent Installment From Provider Relief Fund For Rural Hospitals – Despite Applying In September 2021
Schumer Called HHS Secretary Becerra Directly Last Week To Advocate For Auburn And Launched An All Out Push To Get Them The Funds They Needed To Make Up For Budget Shortfalls ASAP
Schumer To Auburn Hospital: Long Awaited And Deserved Federal Help Is On The Way!
Following his direct call to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the federal government has heeded his call and that Auburn Community Hospital (ACH) will receive over $3.4 million in long overdue federal funding to help the hospital make up from budget shortfalls from the pandemic. Schumer explained that Auburn was one of the only qualifying hospitals in New York yet to receive its most recent installment from the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) pandemic Provider Relief Fund for rural hospitals, leaving them on the hook for millions while awaiting federal reimbursement. Schumer launched an all-out push to get the feds to cut through the red tape and just last week he personally called HHS Secretary Becerra to get the feds to release Auburns funding ASAP. Now, Schumer said thanks to this new funding that he secured, ACH will have the resources to combat the recent spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Auburn, cover rising costs, and tools to continue to keep Central New York safe.
“Auburn Community Hospital heroically ripped massive holes in their budget to keep our rural communities safe on the frontlines of the pandemic. When I heard Auburn was still awaiting millions in funding to recover costs I immediately put the feds feet to the fire and called Secretary Becerra to say this funding needed to get to Cayuga County ASAP. I am proud to say that HHS has now heeded my call and over $3.4 million in federal assistance has now arrived to help Auburn continue their essential work to keep our community safe,” said Senator Schumer. “As majority leader, I am proud to have championed multiple COVID-19 relief bills including the American Rescue Plan which provided these pandemic relief funds and I will continue to fight to ensure our rural hospitals and communities have all the help they need to come back from this pandemic stronger than before.”
“We are extremely grateful for the assistance Senator Schumer provided Auburn Community Hospital. Without the Senator’s direct involvement, it was very unclear when, or if, we would receive the funding from the Provider Relief Fund for Rural hospitals. These funds are critical to Auburn Community Hospital’s ability to cover the many expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Scott A. Berlucchi, President & CEO, Auburn Community Hospital.
Schumer explained that despite Auburn having applied in September 2021 for the ARP’s rural pandemic Provider Relief Funds and other hospitals receiving payments as early as November 2021, the hospital payment had gotten caught in bureaucratic red tape delaying the millions in critical funding for the hospital. In his call with HHS Secretary Becerra, Schumer said that the delays must cease and that recent hospitalization spikes have created an immediate need for the feds to get the payments to the hospital to ensure the facility has the sustained funding it needs. As of Schumer’s call, 97% of eligible hospitals received funding from the ARP’s rural funding tranche, with HHS awarding over $7.5 billion nationwide and over $290 million to NY – but ACH was still awaiting its payment. Today, ACH received its long-overdue funding worth over $3.4 million.
Senator Schumer has a long history of fighting to get New York hospitals the robust funding they have needed throughout the pandemic. To date, Senator Schumer has delivered over $14.7 billion in grant funding to NY hospitals and providers through the Provider Relief Fund. In addition, the Senator has secured tens of billions of dollars in much-needed relief including through various legislation and programs that delivered low-cost loans to providers, staved off potentially disastrous federal cuts to Medicare payments and increased payments to the New York Medicaid program that have helped NYS from instituting drastic cuts in provider reimbursements and consumer benefits.
In the April 2020 CARES Act, Schumer led the charge in Congress to create the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) - managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - to provide funding to healthcare providers and hospitals caring for patients with COVID-19 and who suffered high expenses and lost revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although initially funded at $100 billion, Schumer led the charge in Congress further to successfully add an additional $86.5 billion to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) throughout the last year through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enactment Act, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the American Rescue Plan.