Association Between COVID-19 Relief Funds and Hospital Characteristics in the US   [open pdf - 769KB]

From the Abstract: "In response to financial stress created by the reduction in care during the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic, hospitals received financial assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act program. To date, the allocation of CARES Act funding is not well understood. [...] This cross-sectional analysis of US-based hospitals and health systems assesses the hospital characteristics associated with CARES Act funding with linear regression models using linked hospital and health system-level information on CARES Act funding with hospital characteristics from Hospital Cost Report data. [...] The analysis included 952 hospital-level entities with an average payment of $33.6 million, most of which was received during the first payment round. Wide ranges existed in CARES Act funding, with 24% of matched hospitals receiving less than $5 million in funding and 8% receiving more than $50 million. Academic-affiliated hospitals, hospitals with higher pre-COVID-19 assets and hospitals with higher COVID-19 cases received higher levels of funding, while critical access hospitals received lower levels of financial assistance. A 10% increase in hospital assets, endowment size, and COVID-19 cases was associated with 1.4% (95% CI, 0.8% to 2.0%; P = .003), 0.2% (95% CI, 0.1% to 0.3%; P < .001), and 3.5% (95% CI, 2.8% to 4.2%; P < .001) increases in CARES Act funding, respectively. [...] In this cross-sectional study of US hospitals and health systems, findings suggest that High-Impact Distribution CARES Act funds may have disproportionately gone to hospitals that were in a stronger financial situation prior to the pandemic compared with those that were not, but funds also went disproportionately to those that eventually had the most cases."

The Authors. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/].
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JAMA Network: https://jamanetwork.com/
Media Type:
JAMA Health Forum (October 2021), v.2 no.10
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