On September 10th the current administration and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new $25.5 billion funding for healthcare providers affected by the pandemic. This will be made through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will include a $17 billion fund for phase 4 of the Provider Relief Fund. The remaining $8.5 billion will go towards the American Rescue Plan Rural to help providers who serve rural area patients.
This funding will be for these two separate programs, but providers can apply in one application for both, starting September 29, 2021. Here are a few more details about these programs.
Provider Relief Fund (PRF)
- Phase 4 of the Provider Relief Fund will reimburse a higher percentage of lost revenue and expenses for smaller providers compared to larger providers. Smaller providers may be more likely to operate on a thinner margin than larger ones, so phase 4 will help in these cases.
- Include additional payments for providers who serve Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare patients at higher Medicare rates
- Based on lost revenues from July 1 2020 to March 31 2021.
- Recipients will need to inform HHS Secretary if there are any mergers or acquisitions with another healthcare provider during when they can use the payments. This is to ensure that the PRF payments are going to patient care. If there are any mergers or acquisitions, an audit may take place to ensure funds went to COVID-19 related expenses.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural
- Make American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments to providers dependent upon the number of services provided to patients who live in rural areas. Included services are Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare.
- For Medicare and CHIP patients, payments will generally be based on Medicare rates
Providers considered range from dental services to acute care hospitals to pharmacies, etc. To prepare for the applications, providers can read more about this new funding on the HRSA website.
Additionally, if providers are applying for the ARP Rural funding, eligibility as to whether or not you are considered “rural” can be done here.
Lastly, providers should gather the necessary documents financial documents from July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, the second half of the 2020 year and the first quarter of 2021. These are considered supporting documents in the application.
In terms of reporting, for providers who still need to report for period 1 based on the requirements of the Provider Relief Fund, the reporting portal is open until September 30th, but a 60-day grace period has been added if providers cannot complete reporting by this time. More information on report submissions can be found here.
At Americare Network, our experienced team knows how to bill HRSA related claims and can help healthcare providers save time and efforts in this area. We also provider a variety of other services to help providers save on cost and grow your practice. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist!