Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the distribution of additional relief funds from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS expects to distribute approximately $15 billion to eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and that have not received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation. HHS also announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Fund to safety net hospitals. HHS has indicated that the safety net distribution will begin within a week.
Medicaid Provider Enhanced Portal
On Wednesday, HHS is launching a Medicaid and CHIP Targeted Distribution Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal that will allow eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers to report their annual patient revenue, which will be used as a factor in determining their Provider Relief Fund payment. The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue; the final amount each provider receives can only be determined after the data is submitted.
$10 billion allocation for Safety Net Hospitals
HHS announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals. This payment is being sent directly to these hospitals via direct deposit. This payment will be distributed to hospitals that meet certain criteria relating to serving a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients or providing large amounts of uncompensated care.
Additional provider relief fund
On Monday, June 8, 2020, HHS sent communications to hospitals requesting information on their COVID-19 positive inpatient admissions for the period January 1, 2020, through June 10, 2020. This information will be used to determine a second round of funding to hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots. To determine their eligibility for funding under this $10 billion dollar distribution, hospitals must submit their information by June 15, 2020, at 9:00 PM ET.
Congress and stakeholders have been waiting for this announcement. They had become increasingly frustrated with the amount of time it has taken to get relief to some of the most vulnerable safety net providers. It has been over two months since the CARES Act funded the Provider Relief Fund. On June 3, bipartisan leadership from the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees sent a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services to improve its pace in making distributions from the Provider Relief Fund specifically for Medicaid-dependent providers.
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