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Furor Erupts: Billions Going To Hospitals Based On Medicare Billings, Not COVID-19

Probably few hospital systems need the emergency federal grants announced this week to handle the coronavirus crisis as badly as Florida’s Jackson Health does.

Miami, its base of operations, is the worst COVID-19 hot spot in one of the most severely hit states. Even in normal years, the system sometimes barely makes money. At least two of its staff members have died of the virus.

But in a scathing letter to policymakers, system CEO Carlos Migoya said the way Washington has handled the bailout “could jeopardize the very existence” of Jackson, one of the nation’s largest public health systems, and similar hospital groups.

“We are here for you right now,” Migoya, who has tested positive for COVID-19 himself, said in a Thursday letter to Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services. “Please, be here for us right now.”

Migoya and executives at other beleaguered systems are blasting the government’s

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