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IPFS News Link • Healthcare

How Billions in COVID Stimulus Funds Led Hospitals to Prioritize 'Treatments'...

• By Children's Health Defense Team

As reported last week by The Defender, federal monies from the 2020 and 2021 COVID stimulus bills dramatically reshaped K-12 educational priorities, turning American school officials into lackeys for federal agencies more intent on masking and vaccinating every last child than on supporting meaningful education.

So, too, with the stimulus-induced reshaping of hospital priorities.

In the second half of a January interview on Del Bigtree's "The Highwire" — "COVID-19: Following the Money" — policy analyst A.J. DePriest reported on the untoward consequences set into motion as a result of COVID funds provided to hospitals.

Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal government allocated a total of $186.5 billion to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), with two-thirds ($121.3 billion) disbursed as of January 2022.

The first tranche of $50 billion for hospitals and other Medicare providers — "for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues … attributable to COVID-19" — began flying out the door in April 2020.

Almost immediately, alert doctors and astute journalists warned the Medicare add-on payments built into the relief package created perverse incentives unfriendly to patients' interests.

As summarized by Dr. Scott Jensen — former Minnesota state senator and current gubernatorial candidate — "anytime healthcare intersects with dollars it gets awkward."

Nearly two years down the road, the "awkwardness" is increasingly difficult to hide.


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