Lowey Announces $3.63 Million in Federal Reimbursements to New York Hospitals that Served as Ebola Treatment Centers
Reimbursements are the result of language Lowey secured in the FY 2016 Omnibus spending package
Westchester Medical Center will receive $480,000 in supplemental funding
White Plains, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester), the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide an additional $3.63 million to hospitals in New York that served as Ebola Treatment Centers and prepared to treat Ebola patients as the virus spread.
“During the height of the Ebola crisis, many hospitals in New York took extraordinary emergency preparedness measures to protect the health and safety of all Americans,” said Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m pleased these federal funds will help reimburse medical facilities for their decisive actions in protecting the public. In the wake of the deadly Ebola and Zika outbreaks, we must continue to make strong federal investments in our healthcare infrastructure and ensure we are prepared to prevent and respond to any public health threat.”
Nearly half of all passengers traveling from the most Ebola affected West African countries to the United States arrived at airports in the New York City area. To combat this threat, New York hospitals took on incredible costs to prepare for cases of Ebola and other infectious diseases, including renovation of hospital facilities, increasing the number of isolation units, and other steps that maintain treatment capacity to combat the next epidemic.
As the cases of Ebola increased, Congress invested in a federal response to contain the epidemic at its epicenter and increase the public health infrastructure within the United States to adequately address domestic Ebola threats. However, many Ebola Treatment Centers in New York were left without reimbursement for improvements made to their facilities.
In the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus, Congresswoman Lowey secured language that directed HHS to allocate portions of the unobligated Ebola emergency funds to partially reimburse hospitals for renovations and alterations made in preparation for receiving Ebola patients. Under the plan announced today, HHS will amend original awards to Ebola Treatment Centers to increase each allocation to a total of $750,000 per facility.
“We are deeply grateful to Congresswoman Lowey for her continued support of our work to ensure that we are always at the ready to provide the most advanced care to the residents of our region,” said Michael D. Israel, President and CEO of WMCHealth. “As the lifeline for the people of the Hudson Valley, our resources are focused on providing care to the most critically ill and injured children and adults. During the Ebola crisis, our organization and staff did not hesitate to answer the call and we applaud Congresswoman Lowey for her commitment to a robust and ready healthcare system.”
“Funding for New York’s Ebola Treatment Centers has long been a major priority for Congresswoman Nita Lowey,” said Kenneth E. Raske, President of the Greater New York Hospital Association. “The medical centers that came forward did so on a humanitarian basis, and with the understanding that serving the public was more important than being fully reimbursed for their Ebola preparedness costs. I’m deeply grateful to Congresswoman Lowey for her diligence and persistence, and to the hospitals – and hundreds of hospital workers – that trained and retrained to be prepared to treat this extraordinarily threatening disease.”
"Congresswoman Lowey's dedication to the health and health care of all is proven once again by her determination to secure additional support for the hospitals that stepped up and did the hard work at high cost to become Ebola Treatment Centers,” said Bea Grause, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State. “We are grateful to the Congresswoman and to the HANYS members who went to such great lengths to ensure New York was prepared during the Ebola crisis."
The hospitals in New York that will receive additional funding are listed below:
- Westchester Medical Center (Valhalla, NY) — $480,000
- Erie County Medical Center (Buffalo, NY) — $480,000
- Upstate University Hospital (Syracuse, NY) — $480,000
- University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, NY) — $480,000
- Stony Brook University Hospital (Stony Brook, NY) — $480,000
- Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (Buffalo, NY) — $480,000
- North Shore/LIJ, Glen Cove Hospital (Glen Cove, NY) — $250,000
- Mt. Sinai Hospital (New York, NY) — $250,000
- Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY) — $250,000
These funds are in addition to the nearly $18.8 million in original Ebola emergency funding for entities within New York.