May 22, 2020 - Health
HHS watchdog to audit $50 billion in health care bailout funds
The Health and Human Services inspector general will begin examining how effectively the agency distributed $50 billion to health care providers to weather the coronavirus pandemic, the watchdog said on Friday.
The big picture: This oversight only captures a portion of one piece of the federal aid that hospitals and health care providers are eligible to receive.
Details: Hospitals can collect coronavirus funds through two primary sources, Axios' Bob Herman reports:
- A $175 billion bailout fund that does not have to be repaid. The $50 billion being audited is part of this reserve.
- Advance payments from Medicare that function as loans and must be repaid.
Between the lines: Critics — including small doctors' groups and Medicaid providers — have questioned whether federal officials are distributing the funds appropriately.
Go deeper: The hospitals that have disclosed bailout funds so far