Posted September 14, 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), recently announced $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 29, 2021, health care providers will be able to apply for the funding, which includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.
PRF Phase 4 payments will be based on providers’ lost revenues and expenditures between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. PRF Phase 4 will also include bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare patients, who tend to be lower income and have greater and more complex medical needs. HRSA will make ARP rural payments to providers based on the amount of Medicaid, CHIP and/or Medicare services they provide to patients who live in rural areas as defined by the HHS Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Providers can apply for both ARP and PRF Phase 4 funds in a single application, and HRSA will use existing Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare claims data in calculating portions of these payments.
HHS also announced a final 60-day grace period to help providers come into compliance with their PRF Reporting requirements if they fail to meet the deadline on September 30, 2021, for the first PRF Reporting Time Period. While the deadlines to use funds and the Reporting Time Period will not change, HHS will not initiate collection activities or similar enforcement actions for noncompliant providers during the grace period, which begins on October 1, 2021, and ends on November 30, 2021.
For more information on eligibility requirements and the application process for PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments, visit https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/future-payments.