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Blog - Sandy relief update: Hospitals wait for word on cash

Talks continue over New York state's Nov. 9 request to Medicaid officials for emergency cash assistance for hospitals with extraordinary expenses or lost revenue from superstorm Sandy.

In the meantime, New York state is advancing hospitals cash, the Greater New York Hospital Association said.

The state's request to Medicaid—for $427 million—would award more to hospitals that suffered more damage or disruption from the storm. Five damaged New York hospitals still cannot admit patients five weeks after the storm made landfall. (You can see inside one closed hospital, the Long Beach Medical Center in this video feature).

But the cash relief request also includes aid for extraordinary expenses at hospitals that saw an influx of patients who were evacuated from other facilities. The storm displaced more than 5,000 hospital patients and residents of nursing homes and other facilities.

Hospitals would receive one, two or three weeks of Medicaid payments, depending on the severity of their damage.

Cash relief from Medicaid is separate from $3.1 billion for healthcare providers included in the state's request for about $42 billion for storm repairs, rebuilding and to prepare for future storms. (New Jersey requested another $37 billion and Connecticut asked for $3 billion.) The White House responded with a $60.4 billion aid proposal to Congress (PDF) , which includes $234.5 million for the Veterans Affairs health system in New York.

You can follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans.

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