Cuba Memorial Hospital

Cuba Memorial Hospital

CUBA — Allegany County hospitals will receive millions to help fight COVID-19 and offset lost revenue as other income streams have dried up.

Cuba Memorial Hospital has received $3.5 million, hospital officials said, as part of the CARES Act.

“I thank Congressman Tom Reed and others who helped push for this funding, especially for rural health,” Norma Kerling, CMH CEO, said. “We’re very grateful and this funding helps us a great deal.”

Cuba Memorial is experiencing financial hardship, she said, as the result of the impact on the COVID-19 pandemic due to lower patient volumes and higher expenses.

Kerling noted that CMH’s expenses have risen dramatically due to expanding hospital capacity and purchasing necessary equipment and supplies to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the hospital is seeing fewer patients.

“Patient volumes are down about 80%,” she said. “The funding doesn’t totally erase our debt from this crisis. We still have a long way to go but it’ll help us on our way.”

CMH also received a Medicare advance of $385,000 although that has to be repaid over 12 months, starting in September.

In addition, Jones Memorial Hospital received $3.84 million.

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, announced the breakdown of Upstate hospitals receiving the funding on Friday.

“This funding is good news for our rural hospitals and health centers throughout Upstate New York that have been fighting to save lives and simultaneously struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing public health crisis,” said Schumer, the Senate minority leader.

“Even before this pandemic rural healthcare providers were struggling to stay afloat and it’s critical that they have immediate access to capital, grant, and loan programs as they combat COVID-19 in New York’s most affected areas,” said Gillibrand.

The CARES Act included $242.7 million for rural Upstate hospitals, with $51.49 million allocated to the 23rd Congressional District.

(Contact City Editor Bob Clark at bclark@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)

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