The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided an update on the distribution of the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund for hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the funds is to assist with healthcare-related expenses and lost revenue, and ensure that uninsured COVID-19 Americans receive testing and treatment.
$50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers. As we discussed in a previous blog, $30 billion has already been distributed to facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019. On Friday, April 24th, the HHS began distributing the remaining $20 billion to augment provider’s allocations, ensuring the total general distribution is dispersed proportional to provider’s share of net patient revenue.
The following are kept points regarding the distributions:
- If a Medicare provider does not have adequate cost report data on file with the HHS, it will need to submit revenue information through the General Distribution Portal in order to receive a portion of the remaining $20 billion.
- Providers that received additional distributions automatically are also required to submit revenue information through the portal so that it can be verified. For more information regarding the portal, read the HHS’s General Distribution Portal FAQs.
- Payments will continue to roll out weekly as information in validated.
- All providers that have received distributions must confirm receipt and agree to the terms and conditions on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal within 30 days of receiving payment.
- All fund recipients will be required to submit documentation that demonstrates the funds were used for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue resulting from the pandemic. In an effort to prevent fraud, the HHS and the Office of the Inspector General will be conducting audits.
- The HHS also announced that the COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal is live. Healthcare providers that have provided COVID-19 testing or treatment for uninsured individuals on or after February 4, 2020 can request reimbursement through the portal.