On Oct. 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced another general distribution from the Provider Relief Fund—a $175 billion fund appropriated by Congress that helps cover health care providers’ lost revenues and increased expenses due to COVID-19. The $20 billion distribution is open to health care providers and groups, including emergency physicians and emergency medicine group practices, who have already received funding from the Provider Relief Fund.
As a reminder, you or your group have thus far been eligible to receive up to 2 percent of your 2018 total revenue from the Provider Relief Fund. HHS is now allowing you or your group to potentially receive additional funding on top of that. You or your group will be required to submit financial information in order to help HHS determine your or your group’s share of the funds.
Specifically, HHS will ask you or your group to review and confirm that you or your group have already received a Provider Relief Fund payment equal to approximately 2 percent of patient care revenue. If you or your group have not yet received Provider Relief Fund payments of 2 percent of patient revenue, you or your group will receive a payment that, when combined with prior payments (if any), equals 2 percent of patient care revenue.
HHS will determine these payments first. With the remaining balance of the $20 billion budget, HHS will then calculate an equitable add-on payment that considers:
- The change in your or your group’s operating revenues from patient care;
- The change in your or your group’s operating expenses from patient care, including expenses incurred related to COVID-19; and
- Payments you or your group have already received through prior Provider Relief Fund distributions.
You or your group will have from October 5, 2020 through November 6, 2020 to apply for this funding. Since HHS is allocating this funding equitably to everyone who applies, it is urging everyone to apply early and not to wait until the last day or week of the application period. Applying early will help to expedite HHS’s review process and payment calculations, and ultimately accelerate the distribution of all payments.
All payment recipients will be required to attest to receiving this funding and will have to accept the associated Terms and Conditions. HHS will continue to host webinars to assist providers through the application process.