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May 12, 2020: HHS Releases Second Wave of Funding From the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund and Existing Programs Are Replenished
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on April 24, 2020, that it will distribute the remaining $70 billion in the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief dand Economic Security (CARES) Act to support hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. This second wave of funding follows the initial outlay of $30 billion distributed to providers earlier this month.
Beginning on April 24, 2020, $20 billion of this second wave of funding was distributed to providers, proportional to providers’ share of 2018 net patient revenue and not solely on Medicare revenue. Some providers will automatically be sent an advance payment based off the revenue data they submit in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cost reports, however, they will need to submit their revenue information so it can be verified. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to receive funding. Revenue information should be submitted through a portal at: hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html
As with the initial distribution of funds earlier this month, providers will have to sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Providers have until May 24, 2020, to complete their attestation on the allocation they received from the first $30 billion. This can be done at the following link: covid19.linkhealth.com/#/step/1
To view the list of providers and amounts and verify your practices or Tax Identification Number’s share, please search at: data.cdc.gov/Administrative/HRSA-Provider-Relief-Fund-General-Allocation/kh8y-3es6
HHS is allocating the remaining $50 billion of the second wave of funding as follows:
- $10 billion to hospitals in areas heavily impacted by COVID-19. Hospitals had to submit specific information to HHS by April 25, 2020, to qualify for this funding. See the list of hospitals and their funding amounts at: data.cdc.gov/Administrative/Provider-Relief-Fund-COVID-19-High-Impact-Payments/b58h-s9zx
- $10 billion to rural hospitals and health centers
- $400 million to Indian Health Service facilities
- Remainder to skilled nursing facilities, dentists and providers that rely primarily on Medicaid, and to reimburse uninsured claims
HHS advises that providers can register for funds to cover uninsured patients beginning April 27, 2020, at hrsa.gov/coviduninsuredclaim. Uninsured claims can then be submitted early in May and will begin to be reimbursed by mid-May at Medicare rates.
New Laws Adds $483 Billion to Existing CARES Act Programs
As the CARES Act funds were beginning to be distributed on April 24, 2020, the President signed into law another relief package, referred to as Phase 3.5. This new $483.4 billion package that amends the CARES Act provides $310 billion to replenish the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and also allocates $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers, supplementing the initial $100 billion allocated to providers under the CARES Act discussed above. Phase 3.5 also contains $25 billion to boost COVID-19 testing capacity and $60 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to aid farmers and other agricultural enterprises.
In light of the funding available to providers through the CARES Act and the Phase 3.5 stimulus package, CMS has announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. CMS had expanded these temporary loan programs to ensure providers and suppliers had the resources needed to combat the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS will not be accepting any new applications for the Advance Payment Program, and CMS will be reevaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments due to the direct payments made available through the HHS COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund.
For more information on the HHS COVID-19 Provider Relief Programs, please go to: hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html