HHS Announces Allocation of Remaining COVID-19 Provider Relief Funding

News | Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Article from ACC.org

Administration officials have announced details on the allocation of the remaining provider relief funding created by the CARES Act. The Act authorized $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, an initial $30 billion of which was disbursed earlier this month to providers based on Medicare fee-for-service billing. 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the remaining funds will be disbursed through different general, targeted, rural, Indian Health Service, and uninsured funding streams. Specifically, an additional $20 billion will be distributed to help those providers with a relatively small share of revenue coming from Medicare fee-for-service. The goal: to ensure that the total $50 billion for general distribution is allocated proportional to providers' share of 2018 net patient revenue. HHS noted that a portion of providers should automatically be sent an advance payment on April 24 based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information for additional general distribution funds. Of note: providers who receive their money automatically will still need to submit their revenue information so that it can be verified and an attestation and revenue verification process will be required.

Outside of the general disbursement, $10 billion will be awarded to hospitals in areas that have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak based on data submitted by facilities. Additionally, rural health clinics and hospitals will receive $10 billion proportionately based on operating expenses, while the Indian Health Service will get $400 million. The remaining $29.6 billion will be used to cover costs of uninsured patients. Clinicians and providers who cared for uninsured COVID-19 patients since Feb. 4 will be able to submit claims for reimbursement after an enrollment and documentation process. Program enrollment will begin April 27, followed by training starting April 29. Claims submission will begin May 6. Information about the program is available here

Looking ahead, the COVID-19 emergency bill that passed the Senate this week and is awaiting passage by the House of Representatives includes an additional $75 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. MedAxiom and the ACC will provide more information as the bill moves forward and details about allocation and distribution are released.