The Trump administration will start paying hospitals to treat uninsured COVID-19 patients through the federal stimulus package, President Trump said at a Friday briefing. The announcement comes as the White House faces mounting criticism for not launching a special enrollment period for uninsured people under the Affordable Care Act. So far, hospitals combating the pandemic are still treating uninsured coronavirus patients, but are later billing the difference after receiving some money from the government. “We know that hospital resources will be stretched beyond capacity as a result of this epidemic,” Thomas Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, said in a March 17 letter to several lawmakers. Under the new scheme, hospitals will have to agree not to bill patients for the cost of care and for doctors who aren’t directly employed by the hospital. Those hospitals will likely be reimbursed at current Medicare rates, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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