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HHS Announces $25.5 Billion In Provider Funding Available

October 2021 ISSUE October 1, 2021
Practice Management Financing
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Beginning September 29, 2021, dentists and other healthcare providers can apply for an additional $25.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funds. This includes $8.5 billion under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for those who serve rural patients and $17 billion in Phase 4 payments under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.

To streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, you can apply for both programs using a single application. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will distribute the funds through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), who will use existing Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare claims data to calculate portions of the payments.

PRF Phase 4 Distributions

The $17 billion Phase 4 PRF distributions will be distributed based on the provider’s lost revenue and additional operating expenses incurred for the period from July 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. 75% of these funds will be distributed based on revenue losses and COVID- related expenses. Smaller providers will be reimbursed at a higher percentage of lost revenues and expenses compared to larger providers. The remaining 25% of the Phase 4 funds will provide “bonus” payments based on the amount of services provided to Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare patients, priced at the generally higher Medicare reimbursement rates.

ARP Distributions

The remaining $8.5 billion available under the ARP Rural Program will be allocated based on the dollar amount of services providers delivered to Medicaid/CHIP and Medicare beneficiaries living in defined rural areas. You can search the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer to determine if your practice location qualifies as “rural” for these payments.

PRF Phase 3 Reconsideration

To promote transparency within the PRF program, HHS has released detailed information about the methodology used to calculate the earlier Phase 3 payments issued. If you believe your Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly, now’s your opportunity to request a reconsideration.

PRF Reporting Deadline Near

HHS also announced that providers who received Phase 1 funding under the PRF program have until September 30, 2021 to submit their application via the PRF reporting portal detailing how those funds were utilized. However, the agency also indicated it will provide a 60-day grace period before clawing back funds, to help providers that don’t comply with the specific reporting requirements by September 30, 2021.

For more information, contact the HRSA Provider Support Line at 866.569.3522 from 8AM-10PM Central Monday-Friday or online at the HRSA Future Payments page.

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