HHS allocates $ 25.5 billion to cover financial losses from COVID-19

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken three steps to help physician offices and other health care entities that suffered financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, including unlocking a new allowance of 17 billion dollars from the Supplier Relief Fund (PRF).

These HHS actions, which will focus on small rural health care entities, include:

  • Make a total of $ 25.5 billion available to doctors’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities that have suffered financial losses and additional expenses related to COVID-19.
  • Simplify the process for requesting help.
  • Provide a 60-day extension to the reporting requirements for a previous PRF allocation.

This new FRP allocation, called “Phase 4”, will cover losses incurred between July 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Doctors and others can apply for funding for Phase 4 of the FRP from September 29 through a health center. health resources and services. PRF Administration Reporting Portal (HRSA).

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The FRP Phase 4 allowance will include bonuses for those serving those enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Premiums will be billed at Medicare rates.

An additional $ 8.5 billion will be made available from US bailout funds to provide resources to physicians and others who provide health services to rural patients enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP, with payments on Medicaid and CHIP claims related to Medicare rates “with limited exceptions,” according to HHS.

“Funding will be distributed on an equitable basis, to ensure that providers serving our most vulnerable communities receive the support they need,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release.

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Doctors can seek help from either funding source in a single request through the HRSA Reporting Portal starting September 29.

HRSA will speed up the process by using existing Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare claim data to calculate payments.

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As previously reported, physicians who received PRF payments between April 10 and June 30, 2020, greater than $ 10,000 in total, had until September 30 to file a report through the HRSA PRF reporting portal.

HHS, however, has announced that it will not seek a clawback or initiate enforcement action for failing to meet the September 30 deadline before a 60-day grace period from October 1 to November 30. .

The creation of the grace period was made in response to the challenges physicians and other healthcare entities face as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks and natural disasters suffered from coast to coast.

Doctors’ offices that received $ 10,000 or less in payments between April 10 and June 30, 2020 do not have to report their use of these relief funds.

Learn more about the financial impact of COVID-19 on physician practices. Also read WADA’s Physician Practice Support Guide (PDF) and find out how the implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) affects physicians.

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