WASHINGTON, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) sent a letter to Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to ask for a hearing on how funds are being distributed to providers from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), now referred to as the “Provider Relief Fund.”
With a wide jurisdiction over the health sector and federal agencies directly involved in the response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee has a responsibility to actively examine, through hearings, ways to improve efforts to fight COVID-19, as well as conduct oversight as resources provided by Congress are being deployed.
Today, Burgess called on Eshoo to hold a hearing to review the process of how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is distributing funds from the “Provider Relief Fund,” which has been reserved for distributions to providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Congress has provided $175 billion to this fund between the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to help providers on the frontlines facing challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the Administration has been transparent in how it has allocated the funds to health care providers, Congress would benefit from a deeper understanding of the methodologies employed to distribute these funds, as well as details on the amount of funding that remains and HHS’s plans for future allocations. The Subcommittee is well-equipped to explore these questions. The Subcommittee should also examine whether rural practitioners, children’s hospitals, and other health care provider groups who rely more on Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or commercial payors for their revenue are receiving the optimal proportion of support through the Fund,” wrote Burgess.
Like provider relief, there are many opportunities to conduct essential work on bipartisan issues to improve response efforts to this pandemic. However, the Health Subcommittee is using time and resources this week to conduct a partisan hearing on a whistleblower complaint that was only made public a week ago, rather than conducting needed oversight of the resources for our health care providers.
Whistleblowers should be heard, and there are mechanisms to conduct thorough nonpartisan investigations. The committee should let that process work.
CLICK HERE to read the letter.
As Americans are facing hardships with the COVID-19 pandemic, Burgess is urging Eshoo to schedule hearings on bipartisan issues related to assisting with coronavirus challenges.
On May 8, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
On May 11, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on COVID-19’s impact on mental health.
On May 12, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on reducing racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes.
On May 13, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and personal protective equipment (PPE).