The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Dec. 16 that it was beginning to distribute funds from Phase 3 of the Provider Relief Fund [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 2].
Initially, Phase 3 was intended to be a $20 billion distribution, but the HHS announced that it would be distributing $24.5 billion in order to “satisfy close to 90 percent of each applicant’s reported lost revenues and net change in expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020.” Providers were asked to submit applications in November to receive additional Provider Relief Fund resources. The HHS has stated that over 70,000 providers will be receiving Phase 3 funds, which will be distributed through January 2021.
The Provider Relief Fund was initially established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES, P.L. 116-136) and expanded in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (P.L. 116-139) [see Washington Highlights, March 27, April 24].
The overall $175 billion fund was established to support health care providers’ increased related expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19 response efforts.