Hagedorn Leads Bipartisan Letter to HHS on Hospitals Reporting CARES Act Funds

June 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) led a bipartisan coalition of 14 House colleagues in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar seeking guidance in addressing the growing concerns of thousands of Critical Access Hospitals across the country. 

Hagedorn is requesting that the federal government clarify how medical centers should report funding from the CARES Act on their Fiscal Year End Medicare Cost Reports. The congressman wants assurance that CARES Act assistance will not reduce Medicare reimbursements to rural providers. Hagedorn credits Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic CEO, Jeff Mengenhausen, for the idea to seek HHS clarification.

"Rural hospitals across our nation have made great sacrifices – financial and otherwise – to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver high-quality medical care to our communities,” said Hagedorn. “The CARES Act funding and Paycheck Protection Program, enacted by Congress and the president, have helped these medical centers retain staff and financially recover as they restart elective procedures."

"However, the administration needs to address how rural healthcare providers must account for CARES Act funds to ensure that Medicare reimbursements are not reduced due to unintended consequences,” he continued. “I am committed to protecting our rural hospitals, as they provide residents with timely, quality care, are often a city’s largest employer, and help drive the local economy."

"Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, critical access hospitals in our districts have expressed gratitude for HHS, SBA and PPP funding measures to offset the increased expenses and losses incurred while combating the coronavirus. Federal funds for rural health providers have enabled facilities to save lives while avoiding bankruptcy. However, as hospitals look forward at their financial reporting requirements, they are expressing concerns regarding the issue of cost reporting for the COVID-19 period,” the lawmakers wrote.

In addition to Congressman Hagedorn, the letter was signed by: Reps. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Angie Craig (MN-02), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Troy Balderson (OH-12), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02).

The full letter, which was also supported by the Minnesota Hospital Association, the Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic, and the National Rural Health Association, is attached.

Jim Hagedorn was elected in 2018 to represent Minnesota’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm near Truman. Jim’s father, former U.S. Congressman Tom Hagedorn (MN-02), grandfather, and great-grandfather were all southern Minnesota farmers. Jim currently resides in the rural farming community of Blue Earth. Hagedorn brings policy experience to Capitol Hill from time spent as a congressional aide to former U.S. Congressman Arlan Stangeland (MN-07) and a congressional relations officer for two non-partisan U.S. Department of the Treasury agencies. Hagedorn serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business to promote farming, Main Street enterprises and southern Minnesota’s way of life.