Congressman Darrell Issa of the 50th District Monday announced the finalization of Palomar Health Escondido’s reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA) for the formation and implementation of its COVID-19 alternate care site, which provides critical capacity for the region.
After initial reimbursement challenges, Issa worked directly with state and federal offices to comprehensively review and quickly secure reimbursement.
According to Issa’s office, the amount of reimbursement is: $3,098,793.06.
“Palomar was asked by two levels of government to take the lead in our community’s COVID-19 response and made significant investments to do so. When Palomar was met with bureaucratic obstacles to gain its deserved reimbursement, our office worked with various levels of government to overcome them. This timely result is a credit to Palomar’s good work, as well as FEMA’s Region 9 Team, which was responsive in solving this problem,” Issa said.
“Congressman Issa’s leadership has helped us recoup vital assets that are critical to providing high quality healthcare to an underserved population,” said Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen.
In early 2020, responding to requests from county and state officials to help coordinate a community based COVID response, Palomar Health began the process for designation as a federal medical station.
In March 2020, San Diego County requested the hospital be reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers. On April 3, 2020, the Army Corps of Engineers provided a positive assessment, and the California Department of Public Health approved the request.
Palomar Medical Center in Escondido worked with state and federal agencies to establish an alternate care site on two floors of the facility. Alternate care sites were strategically implemented by the state to provide relief for local hospitals and healthcare systems facing potential overcrowding.
On December 31, 2020, the Federal Medical Station at Palomar was activated and began treating patients.