The Department of Health and Human Development (HHS) announced (press release) it began processing targeted distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to hospitals in high-impact areas and to rural providers. A breakdown of where funding is going (by state and/or county) is available here.
Key points about both of the targeted funding distributions follow:
COVID-19 High-Impact Distribution. HHS is distributing $12 billion to 395 hospitals that provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10, 2020. These hospitals accounted for more than two-thirds of COVID-19 inpatient admissions reported to HHS.
Methodology: $10 billion is being distributed based on a fixed amount per COVID-19 inpatient admission, while an additional $2 billion will be distributed relative to the amount of care these hospitals provide to low-income and uninsured patients – based upon Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments.
Funding Mechanism: $10 billion was made available through the CARES Act (Phase 3) for high-impact areas and $1 billion was appropriated for COVID-19 testing and related visits for the uninsured through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Phase 2). An unspecified amount of the remaining Provider Relief Funds ($104.6 billion) from Phase 3 and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Phase 3.5) is available for “additional allocations” and reimbursement for services provided to the uninsured.
Rural Distribution. Recipients of the $10 billion rural distribution include: rural acute care general hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and Community Health Centers located in rural areas. Funds will be based on the physical address of the facilities as reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Methodology: Rural acute care general hospitals and CAHs will receive a minimum level of support of no less than $1 million, with additional payment based on operating expenses. All clinical, non-hospital sites will receive a minimum of $100,000 in funding, with additional payment based on operating expenses. HHS notes this methodology will ensure RHCs with no reported Medicare claims, such as pediatric RHCs, and CHCs lacking expense data, receive support.
Funding Mechanism: $10 billion was made available through the Phase 3 relief package for rural providers.
HHS noted it will make additional targeted distributions available to some providers including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that only take Medicaid. No further detail about the timing of these payments, the methodology, or the amount of funding that will be allocated was provided.