Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

HARRISBURG, PA—Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Friday that the state had launched a $450-million Hospital Emergency Loan Program that will provide short-term financial relief to Pennsylvania’s hospitals as they prepare for the growing surge of individuals infected with COVID-19 and the economic fallout the pandemic will cause.

“The combination of increased costs and reduced revenue has hurt many hospitals financially,” Gov. Wolf said. “We must support our hospitals through this unprecedented time. When this pandemic finally ends, we’re going to need hospitals to care for our regular medical needs, like heart attacks and broken bones. This new loan program will provide immediate relief to our hospitals, which are on the frontlines of this pandemic.”

The loan package will be available to the commonwealth’s hospitals to provide immediate financial support for working capital to ensure that these facilities have sufficient personnel, equipment and personal protective equipment.

The funding was dispersed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and will be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the Pennsylvania First Program (PA First). The loan program was approved by Treasurer Joe Torsella.

Pennsylvania health care facilities licensed as hospitals by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under the Health Care Facilities Act of 1979 that are eligible to receive federal grant funding through the CARES Act are eligible for HELP. The maximum loan size is $10 million per hospital at an interest rate of 0.5%.

Applications will be available on DCED’s website starting at 10:00 a.m. today (April 13) through April 20. The costs must be incurred between March 1 and Sept. 1.

Permitted expenses under HELP will mirror those under the CARES Act, allowing hospitals to close out their loan with CARES funding once it is received.

As of midnight, April 10, there were more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases statewide.