MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – According to a release from WVU Medicine, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and 15 other senators from across the country helped the West Virginia University Health System and other safety net hospitals to receive additional COVID-19 funding.
A safety net hospital is one that cares for individuals who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid programs and other vulnerable patients, regardless of their ability to pay
WVU Medicine’s statement explained that the pandemic resulted in a significant financial strain on these safety net hospitals, especially in West Virginia, where many of the states residents fall into the “high risk” for coronavirus.
In a letter to Alex Azar, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Service, and Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, Capito and fellow senators wrote the following statement:
“On a pre-pandemic basis, these providers face high uncompensated care costs and bring in significantly lower revenue than other hospitals. COVID-19 has severely exacerbated these disparities. We are concerned about the future financially viability of our hospitals that help care for the sickest, lowest-income, and costliest patients. These hospitals stand at the front lines of our healthcare system for many of our disadvantaged communities and operate on razor-thin margins under the best of circumstances.”
President and CEO of the WVU Health System explained that the additional funding will help to keep critical programs and hospitals going.
“Many of our hospitals are the sole providers of healthcare for their respective communities and were the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To lose those hospitals would put the health of those communities in dire straits and force them to travel, in some cases, great distances to receive the care they need,” Wright, Jr. said. “With this additional funding, we can ensure that our hospitals remain open and our state’s residents have access to high quality healthcare when they need it. We extend our utmost appreciation to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito for her efforts on our behalf and on behalf of all West Virginians.”