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Update on HHS Emergency Fund Distribution

April 23, 2020

McDermott+Consulting

On April 22, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of an additional $40.4 billion from the $100 billion from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (the Fund) in four targeted areas to be distributed over the next several weeks. This is in addition to the $30 billion that was released earlier in April to Medicare Fee-for-Service providers. HHS also announced a process for seeking reimbursement for treating uninsured patients.

Following is a breakdown of additional disbursements (in addition to the original $30 billion) announced today by HHS.

$20 billion for Medicare facilities and providers based on providers’ 2018 net patient revenue to be distributed beginning Friday, April 24, 2020.

  • Beginning on April 24, some providers will receive payment based on revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit revenue information to a portal opening this week on this page for additional funds.
  • Providers who receive money automatically will also need to submit their revenue information for verification.
  • Depending on their share of 2018 net patient revenues, this additional distribution may result in an augmented payment to providers who already received funding through the first tranche.

$10 billion will be allocated for targeted distribution to hospitals in areas that have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Hospitals will need to provide the following information through an authentication portal before midnight PT, April 23, 2020. Hospitals reportedly received a link to the reporting portal on or after April 12, 2020, from a company called TeleTrack; many hospitals also received an email yesterday from HHS advising hospitals to report this information.
    • Tax Identification Number
    • National Provider Identifier
    • Total number of Intensive Care Unit beds as of April 10, 2020
    • Total number of admissions with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 from January 1, 2020 to April 10, 2020

$10 billion will be allocated for rural health clinics and rural hospitals.

  • This will be distributed as early as next week on the basis of operating expenses, using a methodology that distributes payments proportionately to each facility and clinic.

$400 million will be allocated for Indian Health Service facilities.

  • This will be distributed as early as next week on the basis of operating expenses for facilities.

Uninsured

HHS announced an additional process whereby hospitals treating COVID-19 for uninsured patients will be able to seek reimbursement by submitting claims. Every healthcare provider who has provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request claims for reimbursement through the program and will be reimbursed at Medicare rates, subject to available funding. Providers can register for the program on April 27, 2020, and begin submitting claims in early May 2020. More information is available here.

Not Covered

Of note, with this announcement today, there is $29.6 billion remaining. HHS implies that these funds will be available to address the uninsured and providers who need separate funding allocations, like skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid.

This summary of distributions does not include the additional $75 billion included in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which is expected to pass the House tomorrow and be signed into law shortly after.

Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 emerging issues through the McDermottPlus Coronavirus Resource Center or the McDermott, Will & Emery Coronavirus Resource Center.

 

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For more information visit the McDermottPlus Payment Innovation Resource Center or contact Sheila Madhani at 202-204-1459/smadhani@mcdermottplus.com or Mara McDermott at 202-204-1462/mmcdermott@mcdermottplus.com.

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