The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has continued to distribute funding, release information, and share data about the allocation of coronavirus relief payments to providers and facilities. Here are the key updates since we last shared our Federal COVID-19 Funding Opportunities for Providers & Hospitals tracking chart in late June:
- Provider Relief Fund – HHS announced today that it will begin distributing another $10 billion from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) for hospitals in “hotspot” areas next week. The Department used COVID-19 positive-inpatient admission data from January 1 through June 10, 2020 to determine hospitals’ eligibility and share of the $10 billion release. Payments of $50,000 per eligible admission are being made to more than 1,000 hospitals that had any of the following:
- Over 161 COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and June 10, 2020;
- An average of one COVID-19 admission per day; or
- Experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID admissions (exceeding the average ratio of COVID admissions/bed).
As expected, the payments are substantially less per eligible admission than payments under the first round due to a much higher number of hospitals meeting hotspot criteria. The previous formula distributed funds to 395 hospitals with 100 or more COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and April 10, 2020 and paid $76,975 per eligible admission. HHS notes that previous payments were taken into account when determining each hospital’s payment from the second round distribution. The Department also acknowledged that some areas of the country are currently experiencing new COVID-19 surges and noted that it will “provide relief where possible.”
HHS is also extending the deadline for providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs, and who have not yet received a payment from the $50 billion general distribution, to apply for a funding distribution from the $15 billion tranche announced in June. The deadline is now August 3 and more information is available here.
Roughly $116 billion of the $175 billion fund has now been allocated, leaving approximately $59 billion for reimbursement to dentists and the uninsured, as well as subsequent funding tranches.
For reference, a breakdown of the announced PRF disbursements to date follows in the table below.
|Provider Relief Fund Distribution (amount)||WHG Summary||Recipients|
|First General Allocation ($30B)||Here||All Medicare-billing providers|
|Second General Allocation ($20B)||Here||All Medicare-billing providers|
|High Impact Allocation ($12B)||Here||Hospitals with at least 100 COVID-19-related admissions; $2 billion was distributed to hospitals based on their Medicare DSH and uncompensated care payments|
|Second High Impact Allocation ($10B)||Hospitals with over 161 COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and June 10, 2020, or one admission per day, or experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID admissions (exceeding the average ratio of COVID admissions/bed)|
|Rural Allocation ($10B)||Here||Rural acute general hospitals, CAHs, RHCs, and rural CHCs|
|Second Rural Allocation ($1B)||Here||Specialty rural Medicare designation hospitals in urban areas and hospitals in smaller non-rural communities|
|Nursing Homes ($4.9B)||Here||SNFs|
|Indian Health Service Support ($500M)||Here||Tribal hospitals, clinics, and urban health centers|
|Medicaid and CHIP Providers ($15B)||Here||Medicaid and CHIP Providers|
|Safety Net ($10B)||Here||Safety Net Hospitals|
|Second Safety Net Allocation ($3B)||Here||Acute care hospitals that have less than 3% profitability averaged over 2 or more of its last 5 cost report filings|
|Total Allocated: $116.4 billion (see more detail from HHS here)|
- Treatment & Testing of the Uninsured – As of July 16, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has reimbursed providers about $94 million for testing claims and $283 million for treatment claims for the uninsured. More than $1.6 billion of the $2 billion appropriated by Congress through the Phase 2 ($1 billion) and Phase 3.5 ($1 billion) stimulus packages remains. The $2 billion does not include the unspecified amount of the PRF which HHS has said will also go toward reimbursing providers for treating the uninsured.
- HRSA-Funded Health Centers and FQHCs – HHS awarded more than $21 million to Health Center Controlled Networks ($4.5 million) and Health Center Program look-alikes ($17 million) on July 9.
- COVID-19 Telehealth Program – The Federal Communications Commission closed applications for health care providers to apply for $200 million in telehealth grants on June 25. The final list of 539 awardees was announced on July 8, see details here.
- HHS last updated FAQs about payments from the PRF on July 14. Recent updates include those related to eligibility and terms and conditions for the general distributions, as well as those about the dental, Medicaid and CHIP, rural, and safety net hospital targeted distributions.
- HHS continues to make provider-level data available for both the PRF as well as for its other COVID-19 distributions.
- The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) was last renewed April 26 and is currently scheduled to end July 25, 2020 unless it is renewed again by the HHS Secretary. If the PHE is not renewed and no further action is taken, certain reimbursement changes will end, including: Medicare add-on payments for COVID-19 patients in inpatient hospitals, increased Medicare access for post-acute care, and home and community-based services in acute care hospitals. See the WynneSights blog for more information about the PHE declaration, the National Emergency Declaration, and the prospects for extension.
Attached is an updated overview of key stimulus funding opportunities for providers and hospitals that were made available through the series of COVID-19 response bills signed into law thus far.