HHS will be releasing $25.5B in new Provider Relief Funding (PRF) for healthcare providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (including $8.5B for rural providers.)
The Phase 4 funding will be based on providers lost revenues and COVID-related expenses for the period 7/1/20 through 3/31/21.
The application portal will open on 9/29/21
. In addition, HHS is also releasing additional information regarding Phase 3 funding and will offer providers an opportunity for reconsideration should their initial Phase 3 funding be incomplete or incorrect.
HHS also is granting an additional 60-Day grace period for PRF reporting obligations (from the initial 9/30/21 deadline.)
Below is the announcement that NYSHFA received earlier today with further details. We will also be providing additional information from AHCA as it becomes available.
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making $25.5 billion in new provider relief funding available for healthcare providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients and $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.
Consistent with the requirements included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, PRF Phase 4 payments will be based in part on providers’ lost revenues and coronavirus-related expenditures between July 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to equity, Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers—who tend to operate on thin margins and often serve vulnerable or isolated communities—for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher rate compared to larger providers. Phase 4 will also include bonus payments based on the amount of services providers furnish to Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare patients, who tend to be lower income and have greater and more complex medical needs. HRSA will price these bonus payments at the generally higher Medicare rates for Medicaid/CHIP patients to ensure equity for those serving low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors.
Similarly, HRSA will make ARPA rural payments to providers based on the amount of Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare services they provide to patients who live in rural areas as defined by the HHS Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. As rural providers serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid/CHIP patients, rural patients have disproportionately greater and more complex medical needs, and rural communities have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, the ARPA rural payments will also generally be based on Medicare reimbursement rates.
In order to expedite and streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application. The application portal will open on September 29, 2021.
To promote transparency in the PRF program, HHS is also today releasing detailed information about the methodology utilized to calculate Phase 3 payments. Providers who believe their Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly according to this methodology will now have an opportunity to request a reconsideration. Further details on this Phase 3 reconsideration process are forthcoming.
Additionally, in light of the challenges providers across the country are facing due to recent natural disasters and the Delta variant, HHS is announcing today a 60-day grace period to help providers come into compliance with their PRF reporting obligations if they fail to meet the September 30, 2021 deadline for the first PRF Reporting Time Period. While the deadlines to use funds and the Reporting Time Period will not change, HHS will not initiate recoupment or similar enforcement actions for noncompliant providers during this grace period.
For more information about eligibility requirements, the documents and information providers will need to complete their applications, and the application process for Phase 4 and ARPA Rural payments, visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/future-payments
Carl J. Pucci
Chief Financial Officer
518-462-4800 x36 Read More