HHS to begin distributing second round of COVID-19 funds to hospitals/providers

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will “begin distributing the second tranche of funds from the $100 billion in funds to hospitals and other health care providers impacted by the coronavirus response.”

AMA says that, “The funding will be used to support health care-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. HHS announced that $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to facilities and providers which billed Medicare in 2019, and are impacted by COVID-19, based on providers’ 2018 net patient revenue. Of this $50 billion, the initial $30 billion was distributed between April 10 and April 17, and payments to providers from that $30 billion were calculated based on providers’ portion of Medicare fee-for-service revenue.” 

AMA adds that, “Starting on April 24, a portion of providers will automatically be sent an advance payment based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to the General Distribution Portal for additional general distribution funds. Initially some states and specialties thought that physicians must also submit cost reports, but the AMA verified with HHS that this is not the case. Physicians, however, do need to submit their revenue information so that it can be verified via the General Distribution Portal. The portal is now open. The customer service line confirmed anyone who has a billing TIN (including a pediatric or obstetric practice) who lost revenue in March and/or can estimate lost revenue in April due to the COVID-19 crisis, should be filling out this portal.”   

And AMA explains that, “A portion of the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund will be used to reimburse health care providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured. Physicians are eligible for this funding. Every health care provider who has provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request claims reimbursement through the program and will be reimbursed at Medicare rates, subject to available funding. Steps will involve enrolling as a provider participant, checking patient eligibility and benefits, submitting patient information, submitting claims, and receiving payment via direct deposit.”

Providers can register for the program on April 27 and begin submitting claims in early May 2020. For more information, visit coviduninsuredclaim.hrsa.gov.

AMA guidance

CARES Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Application Guide