Fort Lauderdale, Florida -- Broward Health has received $18.5 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as part of a special tranche of funding for public safety net hospitals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) anticipates $10 billion to be distributed nationwide from Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals.
"Healthcare providers who focus on treating the most vulnerable Americans, including low-income and minority patients, are absolutely essential to our fight against COVID-19," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "HHS is using funds from Congress, secured by President Trump, to provide new targeted help for America's safety-net providers and clinicians who treat millions of Medicaid beneficiaries."
Funding is being allocated to hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients or provide large amounts of uncompensated care. Qualifying hospitals, such as Broward Health, have:
- A Medicare Disproportionate Payment Percentage (DPP) of 20.2% or greater.
- Average Uncompensated Care per bed of $25,000 or more. For example, a hospital with 100 beds would need to provide $2,500,000 in Uncompensated Care in a year to meet this requirement.
- Profitability of 3% or less, as reported to CMS in its most recently filed Cost Report.
“We thank Secretary Azar, Deputy Secretary Hargan and HHS for recognizing the unprecedented challenges safety net hospitals are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gino Santorio, president and CEO, Broward Health. “This funding will help fortify our services as we continue our mission of providing quality care to all those we serve.”
Broward Health is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit safety-net public hospital systems, operating four hospitals, 11 community health clinics and ambulatory care centers. With more than 8,200 employees, it is one of the largest employers in Broward County.
Broward Health provides quality healthcare to all those it serves and treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. Broward Health provided more than $129 million in charity care in 2019, and throughout the pandemic, the system has seen a disproportionate number of uninsured and minority patients affected by COVID-19.
Broward Health hospitals and frontline health caregivers have worked tirelessly to prepare and care for the influx of COVID-19 patients. To date, Broward Health has tested over 20,000 individuals and treated more than 675 COVID-19 patients. Future surges in COVID-19 could also negatively impact the system financially, making this and future Hot Spots funding streams critical to the system’s ability to ensure patient access to care.
“As one of the 10 largest public health systems in the U.S, CARES Act funding helps mitigate financial losses associated with COVID-19,” said Broward Health Senior Vice President and CFO Alex Fernandez. “Broward Health is grateful to Florida members of Congress who, by advancing the CARES Act, put the well-being of our patients first.”