BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 2, 2020)—The United States’ Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced $20 billion in new funding for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. Previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020 will also be invited to apply, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic will also be eligible for relief payments.
Providers can begin applying for funds on Monday, October 5, 2020.
“HHS has worked to ensure that all American health care providers receive support from the Provider Relief Fund in a fast and fair way, and this new round helps ensure that we are reaching America’s essential behavioral health providers and takes into account losses and expenses relating to coronavirus,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We’ve worked with all of the resources we have across HHS to ensure that America’s heroic healthcare providers know they can apply for support.”
HHS has already issued over $100 billion in relief funding to providers through prior distributions. Still, HHS recognizes that many providers continue to struggle financially from COVID-19’s impact. For eligible providers, the new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.
"We are very pleased that HHS has established a new distribution to support those health care providers that have been especially impacted by COVID-19," said NAHC President William A. Dombi in a statement. "It would also be essential that HHS open a distribution to the crucial homecare providers that do not provide Medicare or Medicaid services. Those homecare providers serve highly vulnerable populations of the elderly and persons with disabilities. We have made repeated requests to include those homecare providers in the distributions. Further, HHS must address the problems created by its recent change on the standards for what ‘lost revenues’ are covered by the fund. We have been partnering with HHS on this important relief for months, but still need these remaining areas to be resolved soon."