HHS Press Release:
“The Biden-Harris Administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding 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 an additional $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.
“This funding critically helps health care providers who have endured demanding workloads and significant financial strains amidst the pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The funding will be distributed with an eye towards equity, to ensure providers who serve our most vulnerable communities will receive the support they need.”
Consistent with the requirements included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, PRF Phase 4 payments will be based on providers’ lost revenues and expenditures between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to equity, and to support providers with the most need, PRF Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers—who tend to operate on thin margins and often serve vulnerable or isolated communities—for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher rate compared to larger providers. 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 price these bonus payments at the generally higher Medicare rates to ensure equity for those serving low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors.
In order to expedite and streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application. HRSA will use existing Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare claims data in calculating payments. The application portal will open on September 29, 2021.
REPORTING FOR PRF FUNDING ELIGIBLE FOR GRACE PERIOD
The following is provided by HRSA:
“The September 30, 2021 Reporting Period 1 deadline has not changed, however in response to challenges providers are facing given the Covid surges and natural disasters around the country a 60-day Grace Period is in place. This period allows providers to come into compliance with their PRF reporting requirements should they fail to meet the September 30, 2021 deadline.
While you will be out of compliance if you do not submit your report by September 30, 2021, recoupment or other enforcement actions will not be initiated during the 60-day grace period (October 1 – November 30, 2021).
The grace period begins on October 1, 2021 and will end on November 30, 2021.
Providers who are able are strongly encouraged to complete their report in the PRF Reporting Portal by September 30, 2021.
Providers should return unused funds as soon as possible after submitting their report. All unused funds must be returned no later than 30 days after the end of the grace period (December 30, 2021).
This grace period only pertains to the Reporting Period 1 report submission deadline. There is no change to the Period of Availability for use of PRF payments.”
More details are available here.