February 23, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. | U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik joined the entire New York Delegation in sending a bipartisan letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting an expedited release of Public Assistance (PA) funds to New York State hospitals and healthcare facilities.

“You are acutely aware of the impact COVID-19 had on New York City and other communities across the state in 2020 and the accompanying financial costs… New York’s healthcare providers across the state continue to endure major staffing and capacity challenges that we believe require immediate, robust federal support and reimbursement flexibilities,” the lawmakers wrote Feb. 23.

Currently, New York hospitals awaiting this relief are experiencing significant administrative delays in receiving these FEMA funds, resulting in wait times up to six to 12 months in some instances.

“Ongoing delays in FEMA funding for expenses incurred in prior patient waves inhibits hospitals’ abilities to address current challenges and the continued impact of the pandemic. We urge FEMA and its state partners to consider working with New York applicants to identify ways to streamline and expedite the review process by reducing the significant up-front documentation burden, improving administrative processes, and taking other reasonable steps to provide funding more quickly,” the lawmakers continued.

In the letter, the lawmakers also recommended procedural changes to alleviate burdens for New York hospitals and healthcare centers by:

-Easing documentation and eligibility requirements for overtime and agency staffing costs,

-Considering hazard pay a non-discretionary expense,

-Considering salaries of budgeted medical staff who assumed pandemic-related roles as an allowable expense, and

-Reimbursing providers for employee support services, including employee transportation, temporary housing, and childcare benefits.

Read the full article here.