Beshear Announces Additional Funding For Kentucky Hospitals During COVID-19 Report
Governor Andy Beshear in a Tuesday press conference on the coronavirus announced Kentucky hospitals will receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and to provide a stable financial base for hospitals that plans to extend beyond the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabinet For Health And Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander commented on the approval from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the new directed payment initiative that increases in-patient medicaid payments for Kentucky hospitals. He said this program would improve the quality of care Kentucky hospitals will be able to offer, which would not be possible without the partnership with the Kentucky Hospital Association.
Kentucky Hospital Association President Nancy Galvoni said this partnership will go a long way to eliminate the disparity between Medicaid reimbursement and costs. She also said enhanced funding will be crucial for upgrading equipment, retaining their employees, and covering the costs of providing high quality care for their communities.
There have been approximately 221,440 COVID-19 vaccinations administered throughout Kentucky. Last week, 83,212 vaccinations were administered, with 56,175 doses expected to arrive next week. In the Louisville area, hospitals had to cut off appointments for people over 70 due to shortage of available vaccines.
Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health Dr. Stack said when vaccine supply begins to increase, vaccinations will be available at more locations.
Beshear also reported 2,250 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total up to 330,907 confirmed cases. There were also 27 new deaths. The statewide test positivity rate is at 11.55%. Currently, 1,633 Kentuckians are being hospitalized, 442 are in the ICU, and 208 are on a ventilator.
The Calloway County Health Department reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases ever in the county to 2,928. 2,668 have recovered, 212 isolated at home with the virus, and seven are hospitalized.
According to this week’s report, 1,214 K-12 students have tested positive for the virus along with 500 school district staff members since the beginning of the pandemic. Also, there have been 163 new cases along with 47 new deaths attributable to individuals in long-term care facilities.
Beshear also announced he issued a series of vetoes on bills passed by the Republican-led legislature, which he said was his constitutional obligation as governor. Three of these bills limit his ability to address the pandemic.
The governor said compared to neighboring states, Kentuckians have done a better job at “keeping our people alive.”