Raimondo says every hospital in R.I. will receive federal funding

RHODE ISLAND (WLNE) – Governor Gina Raimondo announced a portion of the state’s $1.25 billion in federal COVID-19 emergency relief will go to every hospital in the state.

“The state is going to do our part to continue to strengthen our healthcare system,” said Raimondo at Wednesday’s press briefing. “We are going to be investing in all of our hospitals, so they can be strong and get through this crises.”

Raimondo said money will also go to pediatricians and primary care offices.

“Like most other businesses in America, we are suffering right now,” said Dr. Raymond O. Powrie, the Executive Chief of Medicine of Care New England Health System.

Care New England runs Kent, Butler, and Women & Infants Hospitals. the healthcare company reported a total loss of $44.5 million in March alone. $15.2 million was lost from operations, plus non-operating losses of $29.3 million (mostly investments).

The company has not released its April numbers yet, but Dr. Powrie said it’s a similar story.

“They’re not good months– March and April have been extremely difficult challenges,” said Dr. Powrie. “There were so many additional expenses connected to PPE, having extra beds, facilities, sheets, pillows for all the potential patients.”

He said there were also expenses related to staffing.

“Many of our workers did get sick and had to be out, so other workers had to do double shifts, triple shifts,” explained Powrie.

These unexpected costs and lack of revenue have put the hospital system in a financial bind.

“We are looking at not having extra money to spend on anything we might need. If a CT scan breaks down, how are we going to replace it? If we want to fix a roof that’s leaking, how do we fix it?” said Powrie.

He said the federal funding will help with these kinds of expenses, as well as staffing their facilities to maintain their current quality of care.

“We’re so thankful that it’s coming, we desperately need it. We can do what we need to do right now, but to get through this year, we need that extra funding,” said Dr. Powrie.

The governor’s team said more details will be released Thursday on how much funding each healthcare company will receive.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island