HHS May Push Deadline For Hospitals To Spend Pandemic Relief Funds
In other news: 32 hospitals have sued the Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that Secretary Xavier Becerra is discriminating against states that did not expand Medicaid.
HHS Considering Extending Provider Relief Fund Deadline, Secretary Tells Congress
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Wednesday said the agency is considering extending the deadline that providers have to spend relief funds by but did not provide a timeline of when more aid might be delivered. Provider Relief Funds must be spent by June 30 or returned to the federal government but the American Hospital Association (AHA) and some lawmakers have called on HHS to extend that deadline through at least the end of the year. (Hellmann, 5/12)
Hospitals In Non-Expansion States Sue HHS For DSH Payments
Hospitals in states that did not expand Medicaid are suing HHS, arguing that they unfairly receive lower Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments because the agency does not consider some patients eligible for Medicaid in non-expansion states. In their complaint, 32 hospitals that include Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Regional One Health, and Houston Methodist Hospital, allege HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is discriminating against states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. (Gellman, 5/12)
In other Biden administration news —
The New York Times:
White House To Investigate Brain Injuries Within C.I.A.
Mysterious episodes that caused brain injuries in spies, diplomats, soldiers and other U.S. personnel overseas starting five years ago now number more than 130 people, far more than previously known, according to current and former officials. The number of cases within the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere spurred broad concern in the Biden administration. The initial publicly confirmed cases were concentrated in China and Cuba and numbered about 60, not including a group of injured C.I.A. officers whose total is not public. (Barnes, Wong and Schmitt, 5/12)
Most Americans Believe Biden Is Correct To Support A Vaccine IP Waiver
Nearly two in three Americans believe the Biden administration is correct to support a waiver of intellectual property rights in order to widen access to Covid-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries, according to a new survey from STAT and The Harris Poll. The majority of those surveyed — 63% — think that such a move would help address the pandemic more quickly. However, the survey, which polled 2,062 people between May 7 and 9, found a notable divide along party lines, with a sizeable majority of Democrats supporting a waiver, compared to a far smaller share of Republicans who agreed. (Silverman, 5/13)
CDC And FDA Trusted By Only Half Of Americans
"I don't trust them — I don't," says Sandra Wallace. She's 60 and owns a construction company in Arizona. To her, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance has been inconsistent. "It's all over the board," she says. "They say one thing one minute and then turn around and say another the next minute." Wallace was one of the respondents in a poll published Thursday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The survey of 1,305 people was conducted from mid-February to mid-March of this year. The foundation funds coverage of health and health care on NPR. (Simmons-Duffin, 5/13)