BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Tuesday that the state will invest $800 million to help healthcare providers who lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.
Baker said the “critical funding” was pulled largely through offsets by reductions in MassHealth and enhanced federal revenue.
“This funding will support, hospitals, nursing facilities, primary care providers, behavioral health providers and long-term service providers and support for other providers impacted by COVID-19,” Baker said.
Baker said the funding will be distributed sometime between now and July. Of the $800 million, $400 million “supports 28 safety net and high-Medicaid hospitals”
“We’re infusing $800 million in critical stabilization funding to support our health care providers, particularly the ones who are impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 public health care emergency,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “Healthcare providers have stepped up in unprecedented ways the past few weeks while experiencing significant impact on their revenue and operations.”
Included in the funding is a 20% rate increase for COVID-19 care, as well as 7.5% across-the-board increase for other hospital treatment. Facilities in units within nursing facilities that become dedicated coronavirus sites of care will receive about $30 million in additional funding.
“I certainly think this should help stabilize healthcare organizations generally. And that was a big part of the reason why we did it,” Baker said.
As of Monday, there were 13,837 coronavirus cases and 260 deaths in Massachusetts.
Baker said part of the reason there has been a drastic spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks is Massachusetts has significantly increased its testing capabilities.
“Massachusetts is now one of the largest and most expansive testers in the country and testing is going to be a huge part of how we develop strategies to deal with this virus going forward,” Baker said.