Children's hospitals applaud the introduction of S. 2762, the Pediatric Access to Critical Healthcare (PATCH) Act, by Senators Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., which would support vital investments to strengthen national pediatric care capacity. This follows the introduction of H.R. 5131, the PATCH Act, in the House on Sept. 1 by Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and fellow California representatives.
The PATCH Act would provide grants to children's hospitals to support national pediatric preparedness response investments. Funding could be used for a broad range of purposes, including:
- Expanding critical pediatric health care infrastructure, including expansion, renovation, remodeling and alteration of existing buildings
- Maintaining and enhancing pediatric emergency preparedness
- Increasing training, development and retention of the pediatric health care workforce
- Upgrading digital health infrastructure, including upgrades related to preventing and addressing cybersecurity threats
- Building additional patient care capacity to expand access to care
- Other activities related to strengthening and increasing capacity within the pediatric health care infrastructure, as determined by the HHS Secretary
"We thank Senators Padilla, Klobuchar and Representative Cárdenas for their swift response to the escalating need for enhanced pediatric critical care capacity," said Mark Wietecha, CEO of Children's Hospital Association. "Across the country, children's hospitals are struggling to meet the demand for treatment for COVID-19, severe respiratory illnesses and mental and behavioral health conditions among children and youth. The PATCH Act is a vital piece of legislation for children's hospitals and the millions of families we serve."