Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., yesterday asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create a comprehensive public database of funds distributed from the CARES Act to health care providers in the effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter comes after Wyden previously called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to undertake a similar effort.
“I am writing to request transparency regarding the distribution of funds to health care providers to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. I urge OMB to expeditiously establish a single, comprehensive, publicly available data source that shows the amount of funding received by each health care provider,” Wyden wrote. “I have made a similar request for HHS Secretary Azar to provide health care provider-specific information for the CARES Act programs administered by HHS. The data made available by HHS on these programs to date has been siloed, delayed, and inadequate for a meaningful assessment of the response.”
The letter to OMB Director Russell Vought comes as providers around the country have been allocated almost $210 billion to date through grants and loans to help fight the pandemic and keep their doors open. These funds have been allocated through programs created or expanded under the CARES Act and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including Provider Relief Fund grants and the Medicare accelerated and advance payment programs. Additional funding streams that benefit health care providers were established in the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Main Street Lending Program. HHS is not responsible for overseeing the distribution of funds for those programs.
The full letter to Director Vought can be found here.