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 May:
- Funding: On June 9, HHS announced a $25 billion targeted distribution from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to the public health safety net system (see WHG client summary). Roughly $102 billion of the $175 billion fund has now been allocated, leaving approximately $73 billion for future distributions. HHS has indicated a second round of hotspot funding totaling $10 billion will be released, an unspecified allocation will be made to dentists, and some amount of the PRF will be used to reimburse care for the uninsured.
|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|
|Rural Allocation ($10B)||Here||Rural acute general hospitals, CAHs, RHCs, and rural CHCs|
|Nursing Homes ($4.9B)||Here||SNFs|
|Indian Health Service Support ($500M)||Here||Tribal hospitals, clinics, and urban health centers|
|Safety Net ($25B)||Here||Medicaid and CHIP Providers, Safety Net Hospitals|
|Total Allocated: $102.4 billion (see more detail from HHS here)|
Nearly $158 million of the $200 million appropriated to the Federal Communications Commission through the Phase 3 bill to support telehealth grants to health care providers has been approved to fund 444 applications as of June 24 (see details here). The program has stopped accepting new applications as of June 25, however, funding will continue to be approved on a rolling basis until exhausted.
As of June 17, the Health Resources & Services Administration has reimbursed a total of 3,940 providers about $32 million for testing claims and $155 million for treatment claims for the uninsured. This means only $187 million of the $2 billion appropriated by Congress through the Phase 2 ($1 billion) and Phase 3.5 ($1 billion) stimulus packages has been spent. The $2 billion does not include the unspecified amount of the PRF which will go toward treatment for the uninsured.
- Information: HHS last updated FAQs about payments from the PRF on June 22. Recent updates include those related to attestation, rejecting payments, terms and conditions, reporting requirements, balance billing, publication of payment data, the payment portal, as well as FAQs about and both general and targeted distributions, including determining additional payments.
- Notably, in regards to further high impact payments, HHS states that it: “…intends to distribute the second round of High Impact Area funding to address the comprehensive impact of the cost of providing care to COVID-19 positive inpatients. Funding from the prior round will be taken into account in making payments under this round.”
- HHS also recently clarified that PRF recipients are not required to submit a separate quarterly report to HHS or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. However, the agency noted that providers should be prepared to submit reports detailing use of the funds in the coming weeks, as the terms and conditions also require recipients to submit reports that are requested by the Secretary to ensure compliance.
- Data: HHS continues to make provider-level data available for both the PRF as well as for its other COVID-19 distributions.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that 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.
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.