The application portal for the latest round of Provider Relief Funds is now open. This round of funding includes two components:
Phase 4 General Distribution $17 Billion
American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural $8.5 Billion
The application portal opened on September 29, 2021, and is open for four weeks. The deadline to apply is October 26, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET. Eligible applicants can apply for the ARP Rural funds through the same Application and Attestation Portal that is available to apply for the Phase 4 General Distribution. Providers will apply for both programs in a single application. The funds will be allocated on a weighted proportional basis. The amount of funding for each provider is contingent on their totals in relation to all other providers that apply. Therefore, the allocation formula cannot be determined until the application process is closed.
The following is a summary of both allocations.
ARP Rural Distributions: This is intended to help address the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on rural communities and rural health care providers; funding will be available to providers who serve patients in these communities.
HHS will make payments to providers based on the amount and type of Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP services provided to rural beneficiaries from January 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020.
Phase 4 General Distribution: Consistent with the requirements included in the December appropriations bill, PRF Phase 4 payments will be based on providers’ changes in operating revenues and expenses from July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Phase 4 will also include new elements specifically focused on equity, including reimbursing smaller providers for their changes in operating revenues and expenses at a higher rate compared to larger providers, and bonus payments based on the amount service providers furnish to Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare beneficiaries.
Approximately 75% of the Phase 4 allocation will be used for Base Payments, which are a percentage of a provider’s change in quarterly operating revenues and expenses.
Approximately 25% of the Phase 4 allocation will be put towards bonus payments.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Phase 4 General Distribution: To be eligible to apply, the applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
HRSA has a new section of the website dedicated to these Future Payments. There are a significant amount of resources at this site.
HRSA has conducted two webinars thus far and there are two more planned for October 13 and October 21.
There are application resources at the following links.
If you think you might qualify, you should apply. There is no downside to submitting an application.
Period 1 Reporting Period “Grace Period”
You recall that HHS announced a 60-day grace period for filing Period 1 Provider Relief Funds Reports. The deadline was September 30, 2021, but the grace period now ends on November 30, 2021. The grace period was given in response to challenges providers are facing given the current COVID surges and natural disasters around the country. Providers will be out of compliance if not filed by September 30, 2021, but there will be no recoupment or other enforcement actions. Any unused funds will now be due to be repaid to HHS by December 30, 2021.
Stay tuned for more information. VonLehman’s Healthcare Reimbursement Group will continue to keep you informed. For any questions related to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, or healthcare reimbursement in general, contact Dave Macke, VonLehman’s Director of Reimbursement Services, at email@example.com or 800.887.0437.