WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced that the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) will provide a $1.6 million payment to Nanticoke Hospital in Seaford, Delaware to help address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The award comes after the Delaware Congressional Delegation wrote to HHS Secretary, Alex Azar requesting an award for Nanticoke after it did not initially receive funding from rural hospital support included in the CARES Act.
“Nanticoke, as a rural Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH), is experiencing all of the same Covid-19 challenges that other small, rural hospitals across the nation are facing to include looming cuts without immediate assistance,” the Delegation wrote. “However, as a rural MDH in an all urban state, Nanticoke did not qualify for any of the badly needed funding from the rural set aside of the Provider Relief Fund. We are very concerned by this situation, and believe Nanticoke is unique in the nation in this regard.”
“I’m thrilled that our delegation was able to work together to get the relief funding that Nanticoke so rightfully deserves,” said Senator Carper. “Our health care workers and hospital support staff are the heroes that have emerged from this pandemic. Those on the front lines at Nanticoke Hospital have been providing critical health care services to Western Sussex County and beyond as we battle the coronavirus. We have a responsibility to make sure that health care workers throughout our state, but especially at small, rural hospitals where budgets are already stretched thin, have the necessary resources as they selflessly work to keep our communities healthy and safe. I want to thank Secretary Azar for recognizing the need to bolster funding for Nanticoke, and I will continue working with Senator Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester to ensure this critical hospital gets the federal funding it needs to continue to serve and support this community.”
“In the midst of this pandemic and economic crisis, my first priority is delivering aid and resources to Delaware, and this $1.6 million federal funding is absolutely critical for Nanticoke Hospital to continue providing care to our neighbors in need,” said Senator Coons. “Our health systems are facing incredible pressure and treating more patients than ever, and I will continue doing everything I can to ensure they have the full support of the federal government.”
“Nanticoke Hospital has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Delaware. Like many small, rural hospitals across the country, Nanticoke has faced an unprecedented drain on their resources in recent months,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “That’s why it was so disappointing to find out that Nanticoke did not qualify under the rural hospital provision of the CARES Act. Senators Carper, Coons, and I immediately went to work to try to get Nanticoke the funding they needed and deserved. I want to thank the Senators for their advocacy, Secretary Azar for giving Nanticoke this award, and the health care heroes on the frontlines at Nanticoke who continue to do the hard work of fighting COVID-19.”
“Our charge, like hospitals across the country, is to care for our community regardless of the financial burden we may have to incur to do so,” said Penny Short, MSM, BSN, RN and President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. “Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanticoke has incurred losses in revenue as we continued to care for patients while having to close or significantly limit key services like outpatient cardiology procedures and outpatient or elective surgeries. The additional $1.6 million rural hospital payment from HHS helps to further replace some of those losses, allowing Nanticoke to continue its financial recovery from the first wave of COVID-19. We are truly grateful to the Delaware Congressional Delegation for supporting Nanticoke and helping to secure this critical funding designed for rural hospitals for Nanticoke and for our community.”