On October 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced $20 billion in additional funding for health care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Phase 3 General distribution plan expands the scope of providers eligible for funding and may enable providers who have already received payments from the Provider Relief Fund to obtain additional funds to help alleviate financial losses and increased operating expenses arising from the public health emergency. The application process for this funding is only open from October 5, 2020 through November 6, 2020. Accordingly, the HHS is urging all eligible providers to apply early to help expedite the review process, payment calculations, and distributions of payments. Providers eligible to apply for distributions in Phase 3 include:
- Providers who previously received, rejected or accepted a General Distribution Provider Relief Fund payment. Providers who have already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care may submit more information to become eligible for an additional payment.
- Behavioral Health providers, including those that previously received funding and new providers.
- Healthcare providers that began practicing January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020.
The initial application review for Phase 3 will be to ensure that all eligible applicants receive Provider Relief Fund payments totaling approximately 2 percent of annual patient care revenue, taking into account any funds the provider has already received from prior general distributions. Once this is complete, the Health Resources and Services Administration will calculate equitable add-on payments for all eligible providers that considers the following factors:
- A provider’s change in operating revenues from patient care;
- A provider’s change in operating expenses from patient care, including expenses incurred related to coronavirus; and
- Payments already received through prior Provider Relief Fund distributions.
All payment recipients will be required to attest to receiving the Phase 3 General Distribution payment and accept the associated Terms and Conditions. The HHS instructions for submitting an application, attesting to payment, and accepting Terms and Conditions are available at https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/index.html.
SHG Attorney Megan Jury is admitted to practice law in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado.