WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2021)—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made $25.5 billion in funds available starting Sept. 29th. HHS is now accepting applications for General Distribution Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments. HHS is also accepting requests for reconsideration of Phase 3 payment calculations.
The $25 billion in funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers, including home medical equipment and home health providers, with changes in operating revenues and expenses.
In the recently updated FAQ, it states that durable medical equipment (DME) payments will not be calculated towards the calculation of Phase 4 funding. Here is the language directly from the FAQ:
An organization has the sale of medical supplies, such as durable medical equipment and prescription glasses and contacts, as part of its revenue and expenses. Can these sales be captured in the data submitted as a part of revenue and operating expenses from patient care? (Added 9/29/2021) No. Any revenue or expenses related to the sale of medical supplies, including durable medical equipment and prescription glasses and contacts, may not be included as part of revenue or expenses from patient care. Only patient care revenues from providing health care, services, and supports, as provided in a medical setting, at home, or in the community may be included.
This language mirrors what HHS stated for Phase 3 funding in the FAQ last fall. However, this is conflicting information to a document published under the Phase 3 Reconsideration page. As noted earlier, HHS is also providing an opportunity for providers to request a reconsideration of Phase 3 payments. This is an opportunity to correct any errors with Phase 3 payment calculations.
Although the FAQ states DME payments do not qualify for the calculation of Phase 3 funding, HHS created a methodology for calculating DME supplier funding in the newly published Provider Relief Fund Phase 3: Payment Calculation Methodology document. In the document, HHS states that due to majority of DME supplier revenue coming from non-patient care, HHS will consider 10% of DME annual gross revenue to be attributed towards patient care. The 10% cap is based on ‘industry estimates of revenue and operating expenses from patient care.’
Regarding the ARP Rural payments, the FAQ implies DME suppliers qualify. However, AAHomecare is working on getting a clarification on DME supplier payments from all three funding opportunities and will notify members when more information becomes available.
Providers who have previously created an account in the Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portal and have not logged in for more than 90 days will need to first reset their password before starting a new application.
In order to streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application and HRSA will use existing Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare claims data in calculating portions of these payments.
Applications for Phase 4 and ARP rural funding are due October 26, and Phase 3 Reconsideration is due November 12.