Additional Funds Released Through the CARES Act
On April 22, the Trump Administration announced its plans to allocate an additional $40 billion in funding provided by the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
On April 22, the Trump Administration announced its plans to allocate an additional $40 billion in funding provided by the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. The funds will help reimburse healthcare providers for expenses or revenue losses attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act received bipartisan support. Totaling $100 billion, the Provider Relief Fund seeks to mitigate the financial damage caused by the cancellation of elective procedures and the additional expenses incurred while caring for patients with COVID-19. Of the available funds, $30 billion was distributed earlier this month.
HHS will launch hhs.gov/providerrelief, a website specifically dedicated to funding, sometime next week, stated FierceHealthcare.
Beginning April 24, an additional $20 billion of the Provider Relief Fund will be distributed to Medicare providers and organizations based on their total revenue for 2018. These funds will be deposited automatically, and are in addition to the $30 billion in funding distributed between April 10 and April 17. The initial distribution was based on the organizations’ share of total Medicare FFS reimbursements in 2019.
Recipients of general distribution funds must sign an attestation within 30 days of payment to confirm receipt of the grant, agree to terms and conditions, and verify the CMS cost report. To attest, please see the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal.
Targeted Allocations and Other Assistance
Rural healthcare providers will receive $10 billion in relief as early as next week. The money will be allocated proportionately to each organization based on its operating expenses. Rural hospitals, which run on very narrow profit margins, don’t need to apply; funds will be deposited automatically beginning April 27.
Also, the Small Business Administration announced on April 24 that rural hospitals will be eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, which assists small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify for the loans, hospitals must receive less than half of their funding from state or local governments, a requirement that most of these publicly owned hospitals meet.
Another $10 billion in funds will be allocated to healthcare organizations in COVID-19 hot spots. Providers eligible for consideration were contacted directly by the HHS and have until midnight on April 24 to submit the required information. A substantial portion of the funds is expected to go to healthcare organizations in New York, which had the highest number of COVID-19 patients.
According to reports in FierceHealthcare and Modern Healthcare, HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated that the remaining $30 billion in funding is reserved for skilled nursing facilities, providers who rely heavily on Medicaid, future COVID-19 hot spots, and expenses incurred while treating uninsured COVID-19 patients.
For more details on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, please refer to this statement, released on April 22.