Story at a glance

  • Hospitals and medical facilities are eligible to be reimbursed by the government during natural disasters.
  • Around 27 million Americans are without health care coverage.
  • More than 100 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the U.S.

The Trump administration is considering paying hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, as millions of Americans are currently without health care and concerns grow over the spread of the virus, according to The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reports the administration is mulling over using a national disaster program to pay hospitals and doctors for treating uninsured patients infected with the COVID-19 virus. This comes amid concerns over the costs of treating some of the 27 million Americans who are without health coverage. 

Hospitals and medical facilities are eligible to be reimbursed during natural disasters such as hurricanes. The Wall Street Journal reports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been in talks about using that program to pay providers who treat uninsured coronavirus patients. The reimbursement program would pay providers 110 percent of Medicare for treating patients. 

Dr. Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday during a congressional hearing that discussions are underway in regard to using the National Disaster Medical System reimbursement program.

In the U.S., more than 100 coronavirus cases have been reported with six deaths in Washington state. 

Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 3,100 people, the vast majority of cases in mainland China. There are now more than 90,000 global cases, with infections in more than 70 countries and territories.

Published on Mar 03, 2020