MedPAC Details How Federal COVID-19 Funds Helped Sustain Hospitals

The week of September 8, 2020, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) produced a summary on the impact of federal funds provided to hospitals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, MedPAC reported that the negative impact on hospital operating profits was significantly less than the American Hospital Association (AHA) estimated. According to Healthcare Dive, “[AHA] estimated the pandemic would reduce U.S. hospital operating profits by almost $51 billion in April, the month with the sharpest decline in patient volume. But MedPAC researchers estimate hospitals only lost about half that: between $20 billion and $30 billion that month.” Additionally, they note that while some facilities reported an extraordinarily high income because of increased federal aid, many cash-strapped rural facilities are continuing to plead for aid as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in rural America.