Senate Approves New Funding for Hospitals, Health Care Workers

HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) voted today to provide critical funding for hospitals and frontline health care workers who continue to keep Pennsylvanians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 253 includes a total of $225 million for hospitals and their employees.

The additional dollars will be allocated as follows:

  • $100 million for acute care general hospitals.
  • $110 million for critical access hospitals, facilities with a high volume of Medicaid patients, and behavioral/psychiatric providers.
  • $15 million for the PA Student Loan Relief for Nurses Program.

Locally, Mount Nittany Medical Center is expected to receive more than $740,000; Geisinger Lewistown Hospital is expected to receive more than $960,000; and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital/Penn Highlands Huntingdon is expected to receive more than $420,000.

The legislation requires the funding to be directed to retention and recruitment programs for staff. Hospital executives and administration, contracted staff and physicians would not be eligible for payments.

“Our local health care providers have done an incredible job of managing through the COVID-19 crisis, but it is taking its toll on employees and our health systems as a whole,” Corman said. “This funding directly addresses the problems facing our local health care community by ensuring our hospitals can attract and retain the workers necessary to meet the needs of patients.”

The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Corman and other Senate and House leaders will participate in a news conference to highlight the new funding on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

CONTACT: Jason Thompson