Hospitals and private practices throughout the country will soon be able to apply for additional federal funding to help offset the costs or negative revenue impact that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare providers who qualify can fill out an application with the government starting on September 30, 2021.
What program is offering funding for healthcare providers?
The funds breakdown as follows:
- Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4. The Phase 4 General Distribution portion will have $17 billion to fund providers who have lost revenue or needed to make changes to their operations from July 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
- ARP Rural. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural is a program designed to help providers that serve more rural communities. ARP gets an additional $8.5 billion in funding for providers who give care to Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare beneficiaries.
The Biden-Harris Administration explains that the funds are designed to better ensure equity. This, they explain in a recent news release by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is achieved in part by providing a higher rate of payment for smaller providers compared to their larger counterparts.
What else has changed?
Healthcare providers who received funding through earlier initiatives and are behind in their PRF Reporting requirements can take advantage of a newly announced grade period. The 60-day grace period does not extend the deadline for the report, but instead puts a pause on when the government will move forward with collection or enforcement activities.
The feds also released detailed information about the calculations used to determine PRF Phase 3 payments. Healthcare providers who believe the HHS miscalculated their Phase 3 payment now have options for recourse. They can request an official reconsideration with the agency.