You may have seen news accounts of the NC Treasurer releasing a “report” in which he and others criticize North Carolina hospitals for accepting federal and state funds available to them as financial support at a critical period of the pandemic. Read UNC Health’s response as well as a response from the NC Healthcare Association.
You may have seen news accounts of the NC Treasurer releasing a “report” in which he and others criticize North Carolina hospitals for accepting federal and state funds available to them as financial support at a critical period of the pandemic.
Below is the full response UNC Health sent to local media, along with a link to the North Carolina Healthcare Association’s statement.
UNC Health responded to the Treasurer’s unfounded attacks with the following statement:
UNC Health Statement
Without federal pandemic relief funds, many of the rural hospitals in North Carolina – including several in the UNC Health network – would have struggled to remain financially viable and open to serve their communities amid interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Treasurer’s charged and misleading report paints a baseless picture of excess relief funds as “profit” and seems to intentionally obscure the fact that advanced Medicare payments were not gifts – UNC Health has already paid the federal government back almost all of the $305 million it received from advance Medicare payments.
UNC Health is committed to finding innovative ways to reduce costs and enhance care, as part of our mission of improving the health and well-being of all North Carolinians. In addition, we have provided more than $400 million in uncompensated or charity care to North Carolinians over the past three years and have one of the state’s most generous financial assistance policies.
Response from UNC Health Rural Hospital CEOs:
- Laura Easton, CEO of Caldwell UNC in Caldwell County said: UNC Health helped us to survive the pandemic financially and to provide the highest level of expert care and treatment for this rural community. I cannot imagine getting through the past two years without the financial and clinical support of the health system.
- Steve Eblin, CEO of UNC Rockingham in Rockingham County said: Our rural hospital was literally saved due to UNC Health’s commitment to subsidizing year over year losses and capital needs. Beyond that, we would not have been able to provide the care we did during COVID surges without access to the clinical expertise afforded to us by being part of UNC Health.