Hagedorn Statement on CARES Act Reporting Guidance for Hospitals
BLUE EARTH, Minn. – Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) today issued the following statement in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarifying that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and Provider Relief Fund (PRF) allocations, which rural Critical Access Hospitals received, would not be required to be offset on their Fiscal Year End Medicare Cost Reports:
"Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sacrifices made by the leadership and staff of Critical Access Hospitals across the nation have been nothing short of heroic. Due to the idling of elective procedures and lack of routine doctor visits, rural medical centers have relied heavily on funds awarded by the bipartisan CARES Act to maintain staff levels and other resources in the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
"Critical Access Hospitals not only provide timely, quality medical care to residents of our rural communities, but also serve as major employers and driving forces of local economies. I am extremely pleased that the administration has issued guidance that will protect these well-deserved and much needed resources for rural hospitals, while not reducing their Medicare reimbursements. Special thanks to Jeff Mengenhausen of Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic for bringing this issue to my attention."
Jeff Mengenhausen, Chief Executive Officer of Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic, added, “I appreciate Congressman Hagedorn’s leadership and commitment to Minnesota rural Critical Access Hospitals during this pandemic. Rural hospitals are struggling to stay financially viable during these difficult times. Secretary Azar’s decision to not include the income from the CARES Act on the Fiscal Year End Medicare Cost Reports will prevent us from experiencing Medicare reimbursement reductions. This will give rural hospitals like ours the financial support we need to continue to care for our patients and fight the virus."
In June, Rep. Hagedorn led a bipartisan letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar requesting that the federal government clarify how medical centers should report funding from the CARES Act on their Fiscal Year End Medicare Cost Reports. CMS’s new guidance aligns directly with the congressman’s suggestions in the letter by ensuring that rural medical providers will not be required to report CARES Act funds as revenue on their Medicare Cost Reports. Doing so could have caused Critical Access Hospitals to lose as much as 35 to 60 percent of the funds they received through HHS grants.
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.