ATLANTA — Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff said he was "grateful" Friday after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said more than $25 billion would be directed to hospitals fighting the current COVID surge.
Ossoff had announced last month he was pushing federal authorities to make more funds available to facilities coping with the surge, such as Atlanta's Grady Hospital which this week said it was canceling nonessential surgeries indefinitely under the strain of accommodating COVID patients.
“I called for this funding because Georgia’s hospitals urgently need additional resources amidst the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant," Ossoff said in a statement. "I’m grateful to (HHS) Secretary (Xavier) Becerra for heeding my calls to ensure hospitals in Georgia and nationwide receive this support."
According to an HHS release, the bulk of the money, $17 billion, would go as relief to a "broad range" of healthcare providers "who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic."
Another $8.5 billion will be directed to healthcare providers who service rural Medicaid, Medicare and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients.
Becerra, the HHS secretary, said the funding would "be distributed with an eye towards equity, to ensure providers who serve our most vulnerable communities will receive the support they need."
The relief payments, according to the HHS release, will be based on the lost revenues and expenditures of healthcare providers between July 1, 2020 and March 31 of this year, with smaller providers getting priority.
"I remain grateful to our heroic health care workers for their dedication and continue to urge all Georgians to get vaccinated as soon as possible," Ossoff's statement said.