The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Sept. 10 that it will release $25.5 billion in new distributions from the Provider Relief Fund through the Health Resources and Services Administration. These distributions include $8.5 billion authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2) for rural providers and an additional $17 billion for providers who can document revenue loss and expenses due to COVID-19 between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
The HHS stated that Phase 4, which will require providers to submit applications, will reimburse smaller providers at a higher rate than larger providers. There will also be bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and/or Medicare patients.
The HHS also released a document detailing the methodology for the calculation of Phase 3 payments. Providers who believe their Phase 3 payments have been calculated incorrectly will be able to request a reconsideration. Finally, the HHS also announced a final 60-day grace period for Reporting Period 1 (originally due on Sept. 30). While entities will technically be out of compliance if they do not report by Sept. 30, the HHS will not take recoupment or enforcement actions until Nov. 30.
The application portal for Phase 4 and the rural provider payments will open on Sept. 29.