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HHS Details Allocations for COVID-19 Provider Relief Funds

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 22 released additional detail on how it will allocate COVID-19 relief funds among providers.

The fund — authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — is intended to support providers incurring health care–related expenses and lost revenue from response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a total $100 billion in payments

HHS intends to distribute funds as quickly as possible, while targeting providers most impacted by the pandemic. Providers must agree to terms and conditions to receive these funds, including agreeing to not balance bill any presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

HHS designated $50 billion in general allocation to Medicare facilities and providers, which includes:

  • $30 billion, distributed April 10, based on share of 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements; and
  • $20 billion, to be distributed this week, such that when paired with the initial distribution, the entire $50 billion is allocated based proportional to providers’ share of 2018 net patient revenues.

Additionally, HHS will distribute a portion of the fund through targeted allocations:

  • $10 billion to hospitals in a targeted distribution, focused on areas heavily impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak. This distribution will be based on information requested by HHS via an authentication portal;
  • $10 billion for rural health clinics and hospitals, based on operating expenses;
  • $400 million for Indian Health Service facilities, based on operating expenses; and
  • additional, separate funding for certain providers, such as dentists, skilled nursing facilities, and sole Medicaid providers.

In addition, HHS’ announcement details how providers can receive reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and treatment for uninsured patients.

America’s Essential Hospitals sent an April 22 letter asking HHS to provide more information and a deadline extension for the authentication portal, which the agency will use to inform the targeted distribution to hospitals.

America’s Essential Hospitals will send members a detailed update with more information about this funding. Members also are encouraged to visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Gontscharow is a senior policy analyst for America's Essential Hospitals.

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