October 7, 2020

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces Additional $20 Billion in Provider Relief Funding with Broadened Eligibility Requirements

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced $20 billion in new Phase 3 General Distribution Provider Relief Funding in the interest of ensuring that all American healthcare providers receive relief in the wake of COVID-19. In total, HHS has previously distributed over $100 billion in relief funding.

Previously, providers who had received, rejected or accepted a General Distribution Provider Relief Fund payment were not eligible for new Provider Relief funds. That has changed and now providers are eligible for the new $20 billion funding even if they already received, rejected or accepted Provider Relief Funding in the past. Additionally, HHS announced that behavioral health providers are now eligible for this funding, citing an increase in anxiety and depressive disorders in the second quarter of this year, which is dramatically higher than in the second quarter of 2019. New healthcare providers that began practicing in the year 2020 will also now be eligible for this funding.

HHS stresses the importance of applying for this funding early and to avoid waiting to send applications until the last week of the application period. Providers can start applying for these funds on October 5th and the application period closes on November 6th. A variety of criteria will be assessed in calculating payment for eligible providers such as any changes in operating expenses from patient care, including expenses resulting from coronavirus. HHS will also take into consideration any change in patient care operating revenues and payments that a provider has already received through prior Provider Relief Fund distributions, which providers will have to attest to.

HHS will be hosting webinars in order to provide assistance for those applying for this funding and will also have call centers to answer any questions. For more information on how to apply, please visit HHS’s CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website for providers here.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact David R. Ross, Esq., Senior Shareholder, via e-mail at dross@oalaw.com.  Law Clerk Colleen R. Pierson contributed to this article.