$ 10 Billion COVID-19 left without support

W saidSenators announced Monday that they have reached a deal for $ 10 billion in new funding to respond to the coronavirus, many health professionals fear the team will not be involved in helping for overseas vaccines. . But elsewhere the program may be short -lived covering the costs of coronavirus tests, medications and medications for non -Americans. The lack of money could not only hurt the most vulnerable Americans, experts say, but it would also end the future events of COVID-19.

The program for those who were not enrolled began at the end of last month. The Biden Administration has repeatedly asked lawyers for an additional $ 22.5 billion in sick leave, saying the government will not have enough medical supplies for every American to get a new incentive. all the money to buy monoclonal antibodies to control the coronavirus. .

The new budget is less than half of what the Administration has requested. “This is not clear to fulfill those important rights in this country,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a press conference Monday. The new bill will go towards the sale of additional COVID-19 drugs, tests and prescription drugs. Psaki said the Administration will continue to provide global coronavirus assistance, but cannot do so until this spring. It is unclear if the local response will receive further support.

Currently, the unregistered program ceased to accept the requirements for testing and maintenance of COVID-19 on March 22, and will not accept the requirements for registration. to those not denied after April 5. federal funds; Many people tell TIME they worry about not having a way to pay for the testing, maintenance and detention of 31 million Americans without insurance, which may be left behind. the U.S. with a footprint in the future of cancer.

‘Pull the mat out from under us’

At the time of Drs. Wendy Williams, chief medical officer at Coastal Family Health Center, a group of community health clinics on the Mississippi coast, found last month that the federal COVID-19 program for unregistered people had ended. Due to lack of money. like someone pulling trash from under us, “he said. The patients in his offices are mostly Spanish and Vietnamese speakers, construction workers, and people who work in and about 50% of the ships docked at the local ports did not have health insurance.

During the illness, Williams and his staff relied on the federal program to help them test, treat, and record their patients. With less than a week of notice before the March deadline, they sought to file more claims. But Williams believes the center between $ 250,000 and $ 500,000 in testing and medical costs will never be reimbursed because staff cannot file those claims in time.

While major hospitals or private clinics can begin detaining or transferring detainees, community health clinics and emergency hospitals are missionaries who serve. these diseases. “We’re a safety net. We can’t turn people around,” Williams said. “But it’s just hard in this environment that we live in. We planned for that, we saw how much we could get back from the uninsured portal that we could plan for, and now we don’t. we can do that.

Community health departments and emergency hospitals often work with narrow boundaries. Without federal support, many people will begin to give back to the services they provide, Drs. Ron Yee, general medical director of the National Association of Community Health Centers. “Once health centers are overrun, they start cutting those services that can take, translate, enroll, health education,” he said. “And this is an important time to have all those services because we’re in the process of catching up for the disease.”

Safety hospitals, which also serve underserved populations, may reduce community services, reduce office hours or cut off initiatives to improve their facilities, said Beth Feldpush. senior president of policies and advice at American Essential Hospitals. The staff was also worried, he added, as health care workers left the school during illness due to a break or a fire. “Hospitals that make more money than they spend in the first place are more likely to pay more money to make a deal,” Feldpush said. “For our members and their staff, it’s almost doubled here.”

Experiments and major medications

Deadlines for suppliers to submit COVID-19 testing, maintenance and certification requirements are passing, and some suppliers are asking non-certified suppliers to cover the high costs they receive. down. At the onset of the disease, some non-patients were charged tens of thousands of dollars for COVID-19 care. Since the unregistered program’s inception in May 2020, more than $ 19 billion has been paid to hospitals, community health centers, laboratories and other providers.

Some large labs that received large sums of money from the program changed their policies. Quest Diagnostics, which operates one of the largest labs in the country, has told customers they can no longer expect to be paid more to test for non -invasive diseases. . People without insurance can pay up to $ 125 through QuestDirect or $ 100 if they order through a doctor affiliated with Quest.

COVID-19 test kits at Labcorp’s home are currently $ 119 for the uninsured. And Curative, which operates 13,000 clinics across 18 states, has stopped offering testing to unconfirmed patients everywhere with no other money to pay. to the price. The company is working with state and local partners to raise additional refunds for unregistered patients, and is running programs that pay for trials in both locations. but in states with large numbers of non -citizens, the lack of federal funding makes it impossible to access many. trying. “We are very concerned about this new development and the impact it will have on unregistered patients,” said Pasquale Gianni, a Curative spokesman.

Small businesses face similar challenges. In De Queen, Ark., Pharmacist Elee Coleman was concerned about the impact of the program not being fixed on her family’s medication., De Queen Health and Wellness Pharmacy, owned by parents. Coleman said their store, which provided about 15,000 COVID-19 shots, 1,000 COVID-19 tests, and 1,400 monoclonal antibodies to patients, said it was alive in a rural county. where 60% of the population is undetected. Japanese. Hispanic Americans experienced disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. The drug is waiting for about $ 150,000 to be returned from the federal government at the moment but doesn’t know if it will be found, with another 70 saying it can’t be put in time, according to and Williams in Mississippi.

On March 16, when the ‘Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the end of the unregistered program, it told providers that “claims made shall be paid on the basis of income.” The agency declined to say how much money was left for the project. It always processes claims submitted before deadlines.

In recent months, while Omicron has been operating across the country, the uninsured program has spent about $ 2 billion per month on claims, according to HRSA. While that could change as the disease progresses, experts say the $ 10 billion in new money that Congress thinks will pass is clearly not enough. “Right now, if the demands for testing and medical services are low, dedicating what would be as little as that $ 10 billion to fund this project could be extended for a long time. but not enough money. $ 10 billion to support this project during the COVID wave, “said Jennifer Tolbert, executive director at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) that followed the COVID-19 project. uninsured. “It’s just leaving a little money to spend on this project.”

Coleman said he and his parents have not decided if they will continue to provide COVID-19 testing, care and medications to non-consumers. But the result of this money is “a huge loss for our store,” he said. “It’s going to have a huge impact on the community, not just our medicine.”

‘Always be vigilant’

While coronavirus cases are declining and health care providers are no longer concerned about the demand for COVID-19 tests and medications, the disease is far from over. Hundreds of people die every day in the U.S. The prevalence of type BA.2 and the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new incentive shot for Americans 50 years and older.

Yee said that while COVID-19 vaccines are free to all patients, some unidentified people may avoid seeking COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines at home. for fear of being recompensed. In the past, community health centers have worked hard to encourage these patients to seek care, he said. “We drove a lot of those visitors from emergency rooms and hospitals, when those injuries happened when they were running out of ventilators and they were nervous,” Yee said. . “This could be put at risk if we don’t have enough money in the future.”

Instead of relieving coronavirus -related burdens, community health centers are caring for many people who have avoided alternative health care during illness, Yee added. If community health agencies cut services, or people choose not to seek health care for fear of the cost, those who are not covered will have more health problems. This will lead to more hospitality and higher costs to the country’s health care system in the long run.

“The price of all of this is fixed – you can get more nursing homes for depression, you can get people who are having heart attacks and strokes, you can when people with diabetes have no control, ”Yee said. “We’re going to fall behind in terms of maintenance and access, but also at the cost to the federal government.”

Tolbert, of KFF, worries that Congress’ decision to allow spending money is “short” now due to the disease. “We have always been stuck in our response to COVID-19,” he said. “Now is the time when you want to secure resources, if there is any further increase we are ready.”

Williams of Coastal Family Health Center in Mississippi said the money ran out soon.

“If there’s going to be a new rise, and we have to try and retain thousands and thousands of people, those resources have to come from somewhere,” he said. “God doesn’t want it, but if it’s done, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

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Write it down Abigail Abrams and [email protected]

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