Bullock announces measure to keep smaller hospitals open
April 1, 2020
Governor Steve Bullock today announced a Directive that allows Montana hospitals and related facilities to receive financing to remain open and acquire the supplies needed to respond to COVID-19.
“For weeks both urban and rural hospitals have served on the frontlines of this crisis and they need our support to continue protecting Montanans,” Governor Bullock said. “Today’s Directive offers resources to keep hospital doors open, purchase supplies, and will ensure health care workers provide lifesaving care across the state.”
Governor Bullock’s Directive will allow health care, medical, and related facilities to receive financing under the Montana Facility Finance Authority Act for operating expenses connected to COVID-19. The Directive will allow facilities to receive immediate financial support to continue operating during the emergency.
In an effort to meet surge in needed COVID-19 medical services, Montana health facilities have delayed non-critical procedures and pushed back appointments, such as outpatient surgery and physical therapy, which have resulted in a loss of revenue. In addition to losing revenue, Montana health facilities are scrambling for necessary supplies, leading to escalating expenses. While the combination of lost revenue and increasing expenses is difficult for all Montana health facilities, those located in rural Montana face particularly severe impacts. Multiple rural hospitals report having either no cash on hand, or not enough cash on hand to fund operations into April.
The federal stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will provide support for operating expenses, but the funding may not arrive for months. Many Montana health facilities have an immediate need for lending support and waiting for federal funds to arrive could put the health of Montanans at risk.
Funding from the Montana Facility Finance Authority will provide low-cost funding to allow facilities to purchase supplies, pay staff, and remain open during this challenging time.