February 26, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C.— This week, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) and the rest of New York’s congressional delegation sent a letter to theFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting an expedited release of Public Assistance (PA) funds to New York State hospitals and health care facilities.
In the letter, the lawmakers noted the impact COVID-19 had on New York City and other communities, and how health care providers statewide “continue to endure major staffing and capacity challenges that we believe require immediate, robust federal support and reimbursement flexibilities.”
According to a press release, New York hospitals are experiencing significant administrative delays in receiving these FEMA funds, with some waiting as long as six to 12 months. The lawmakers said the delays inhibit hospitals’ abilities to address current challenges and the pandemic’s continued impact.
“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 upfront documentation burden, improving administrative processes and taking other reasonable steps to provide funding more quickly,” the lawmakers added.
They also recommended procedural changes, including easing documentation and eligibility requirements for overtime and agency staffing costs, considering hazard pay a non-discretionary expense and considering salaries of budgeted medical staff who assumed pandemic-related roles as an allowable expense.
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