Durbin Discusses Impact of Coronavirus With Illinois Hospitals

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today, on a call with more than 20 CEOs from Illinois hospitals and AJ Wilhelmi, President of the Illinois Health & Hospital Association, discussed the impact of coronavirus and what resources are needed to fight the pandemic at Illinois hospitals. Durbin thanked the hospital representatives for everything their hospitals and health workers have done so far to help Illinois patients and pledged to continue to push for a direct and immediate infusion of funds for hospitals, as well as increases in personal protective equipment, testing kit supplies, ventilators, and other medical resources health workers need. Durbin also discussed his bipartisan proposal to help financially vulnerable rural hospitals stay open during the pandemic. 

“I commend the heroic efforts of every health care worker in Illinois for their incredible work under challenging circumstances. I have made clear that providing direct, immediate assistance for hospitals and health workers must be priority number one.  Period,” Durbin said. “It was good to hear from the Illinois Health & Hospital Association today to get a better sense of what’s happening on the ground so I can advocate on their behalf in the Senate.”

In addition to fighting for strong and quick federal funding for our nation’s hospitals—as well as an immediate increase in medical equipment and supplies—Durbin is working to include in the Phase 3 federal coronavirus stimulus bill the Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act, a bill he introduced with Senator James Lankford (R-OK). The bill would allow the most financially vulnerable rural hospitals to convert to “Critical Access Hospital” status and obtain higher Medicare payments.