The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced that $20 billion has been allocated to Phase 3 of the Provider Relief Funding program. The news release issued by HHS states that this phase is designed to “balance an equitable payment of 2 percent 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.”
The Phase 3 application portal opens on October 5, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the pandemic, including those that have received, accepted, or rejected previous General Distribution Fund payments, as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those that began practicing in 2020. Also added to the list are behavioral health practitioners. The HRSA, in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), developed a list of eligible behavioral health providers, including addiction counseling centers, mental health counselors, and psychiatrists. Providers that previously received payments of approximately 2 percent of annual revenue from patient care may submit information that will be helpful in determining whether they are eligible for an additional payment. Click the news release link above for details on eligibility and payment criteria.
The deadline to apply for Phase 3 is November 6, 2020; however, eligible providers are strongly encouraged to apply early. As with prior phases, recipients will be required to attest to receiving Phase 3 funds and accept the associated terms and conditions.
BEFORE APPLYING FOR PHASE 3
Providers that have received payments through General Distribution funding have 90 days to accept or reject funds. Failing to actively attest within 90 days will be viewed as acceptance; however, before applying for Phase 3, recipients of prior payments must accept or reject funds through the Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portals for Phase 1 and/or Phase 2.
Providers that accept payment must also attest to the terms and conditions, which include acknowledgment that funds will not be used for expenses or losses that have been or will be reimbursed from other sources. In addition, accepting the terms and conditions provides consent to public disclosure of payment received. For information on how to accept the funds and attest to the terms and conditions, read the Attestation FAQs and Terms and Conditions FAQs.
Providers that reject payment must return funds to HHS within 15 calendar days. HHS has instructed providers to reject payments and return entire amount distributed if they do not have or anticipate having COVID-related eligible expenses or lost revenue equal to or in excess of the payment received. Rejecting payment does not necessarily disqualify a provider from being considered for future fund distributions. For information about how to reject the funds, read the Rejecting Payments FAQs. For instructions on returning payment and receiving correct distribution, when applicable, contact the Provider Support Line at (866) 569-3522 (for TYY, dial 711).
Those that received a distribution in excess of their current lost revenues or increased costs may keep the payment if they expect their COVID-related losses and costs to exceed the intended calculated payment.
Visit the HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund page for more information on the program.
Price Kong will stay updated and provide additional information on Phase 3 of the Provider Relief Fund as soon as it is released. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with questions at [email protected] or visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.