Healthcare providers have access to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Providers Relief Fund, of approximately $100 billion, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (PL 116-136). The Providers Relief Fund assists healthcare providers with expenses or COVID-19 related revenue loss.
While half of the Provider Relief Fund is earmarked for a general allocation to all providers who have billed Medicaid in 2019, the other half of the fund is meant for specific sectors to receive additional monetary relief. Below is a detailed explanation of the allocation of the remainder of the fund.
Allocation for Treatment of The Uninsured
To prevent Americans from avoiding treatment of COVID-19, a percentage of the Provider Relief Fund will be used to reimburse providers for the treatment of the uninsured. With the receipt of funding from the general allocation, “providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a presumptive or actual COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.”
Treatment provided for uninsured COVID-19 patients dated February 4, 2020, and later qualifies for claims reimbursement at Medicare rates. According to HHS, the claims process involves “enrolling as a provider participant, checking patient eligibility and benefits, submitting patient information, submitting claims, and receiving payment via direct deposit.” Registration for the program began on April 27, 2020. Claim submitting will be available in early May 2020. More information is available at coviduninsuredclaim.hrsa.gov.
$10 Billion for COVID-19 High Impact Areas
$10 billion of funds will be available to hospitals in areas that have been severely affected by the pandemic. To apply for funding, hospitals must have provided the following information to the authentication portal before 3:00 PM Eastern Time, April 25, 2020:
- Tax Identification Number
- National Provider Identifier
- Total number of Intensive Care Unit beds as of April 10, 2020
- Total number of admissions with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 from January 1, 2020 to April 10, 2020
$10 Billion for Rural Providers
$10 billion will be distributed to “less profitable” rural providers “on the basis of operating expenses, using a methodology that distributes payments proportionately to each facility and clinic.” Payments may be received as early as next week.
$400 Million for Indian Health Service
$400 million will be shared by the Indian Health Service due to their “strain experiences.” Distributions, relevant to their operating expenses, may be received as early as next week.
HHS explains, “There are some providers who will receive further, separate funding, including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid.”
This information is being shared with our stakeholders as a public service. If anyone is interested in more details, please visit The Department of Health and Human Services website for the most updated information.