Engel Authored Provisions to Modernize U.S. Hospitals Pass House

Engel Authored Provisions to Modernize U.S. Hospitals Pass House

Congressman Eliot L. Engel commended House passage today of a key funding bill for federal health agencies, H.R. 7617, which included provisions he authored that direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assess the level of investment needed to modernize U.S. hospitals.

“Our hospitals have had to quickly adapt to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, often times revealing the need for critical investments to modernize them,” said Rep. Engel. “We cannot be caught flat-footed again when it comes to adequately responding to a global health emergency. These provisions will help us determine what level of federal resources are needed to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality health care services every day in the future.”

These provisions are based off Congressman Engel’s 21st Century Hospitals Act, H.R. 3558, which he introduced on June 27, 2020. The Engel authored provisions, more specifically, call on HHS to submit a report to Congress within one year of the bill’s passage on the: 

  • Challenges that safety-net hospitals face in accessing funding for medical infrastructure, including the impact those challenges can have in responding to public health emergencies
  • The utilization of electronic medical records
  • The barriers that U.S. hospitals face in accessing new health information technologies

Congressman Engel is a longtime advocate of safety-net hospitals. He has fought successfully to prevent cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment program, which provides New York’s nearly 200 safety-net hospitals with about $1.8 billion in annual funding.