Wolf approves $450M emergency loan for financially distressed hospitals

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf speaks during a meeting with The York Dispatch editorial staff at the Dispatch offices Friday, October 19, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

Gov Tom Wolf on Friday approved a $450 million emergency loan program to help financially distressed hospitals in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The combination of increased costs and reduced revenue has hurt many hospitals financially,” Wolf said in a news release. “We must support our hospitals through this unprecedented time. 

“When this pandemic finally ends, we’re going to need hospitals to care for our regular medical needs, like heart attacks and broken bones. This new loan program will provide immediate relief to our hospitals, which are on the front lines of this pandemic.”

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Wolf’s announcement came a day after the president of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania warned that hospitals statewide were losing a combined $1.5 billion to $2 billion a month due to the coronavirus epidemic. 

Hospitals will be eligible to apply for low-interest loans of up to $10 million under the Hospital Emergency Loan Program. 

The package will provide immediate financial support for working capital to ensure that these facilities have sufficient personnel, equipment, and personal protective equipment, the release said.

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The application period is expected to run from April 13 through 20, and hospitals should submit their requests through the Department of Community & Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application for Assistance. 

Applications will be evaluated based on specific criteria including size and location of the hospital, its financial need, and the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.