HHS Announces New Opportunity to Apply for Provider Relief Fund Resources

COVID-19

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Earlier today, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new opportunity for providers to seek funding through the HHS Provider Relief Fund.  HHS will be accepting applications from October 5, 2020 through November 6, 2020.
 
What It Means

Congress allocated $175 billion to HHS for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.  As of September 24, HHS had allocated $122.9 billion of those funds. That funding has been divided between:

  • General Distributions – Two General Distributions – Phase 1 ($50 billion) and Phase 2 ($18 billion) – distributed through a combination of proactive distributions and application-based awards, and
  • Targeted Distributions – Proactive distributions to specific provider types – primarily hospitals and nursing homes.

Today, HHS has allocated an additional $20 billion for another General Distribution, which they have deemed “Phase 3 General Distribution."
 
HHS encourages providers to apply early.  The new distribution methodology will take into account other applicants, so HHS will not be able to calculate full awards until it has received and reviewed all applications.  
 
Virtually all health care providers should be eligible to apply for funding in this distribution.  Even those providers who received funding previously may be newly eligible for consideration.  

Key parameters of the new distribution:

The new distribution is application-based. Interested providers will be required to apply as opposed to receiving a proactive distribution from HHS. HHS will accept applications from October 5 through November 6.

The application will be open to: 

  • providers who have previously received, accepted, or rejected funding through the Provider Relief Fund,
  • behavioral health providers (some had previously been excluded for methodological reasons), and
  • providers newly practicing in 2020 (previously excluded for methodological reasons).

Distribution methodology

2% of Patient Care Revenue – HHS will review each application to ensure providers have received 2% of their annual patient care revenue, taking into account previous distributions from the Provider Relief Fund.  This methodology is consistent with the most recent General Distribution Phase 2, for which applications closed on September 13. 

“Equitable Add-On Payment" – HHS indicates it will use the remainder of the $20 billion (after ensuring all applicants have 2% of annual patient care revenue) to calculate an “equitable add-on payment" for all applicants, reflecting:

  • A provider's change in operating revenues from patient care,
  • A provider's change in operating expenses from patient care, including expenses incurred related to coronavirus, and
  • Payments already received through prior Provider Relief Fund distributions.

For updates and to learn more about the Provider Relief Program, visit: hhs.gov/providerrelief.