Healthcare Client Alert – April 28, 2020

    By Laura Dickson Rixey, Health Care

    Medicare Providers Can Now Apply for Additional HHS Stimulus Funding. Still Hope for Others!

    On April 22, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finally released a press release detailing how it would distribute the $100 billion in appropriations allocated under the CARES Act to healthcare providers. The full press release can be accessed here

    General Allocations to Medicare Providers and Facilities
    Earlier this month, HHS distributed an initial $30 billion to Medicare providers and facilities as part of the first tranche of the $50 billion allocated for general distribution. Recipients of these funds have 30 days from the date of receipt to either accept the terms and conditions or return the funds.  Beginning on Friday, April 24th, HHS began distributing the $20 billion second tranche of the general distribution allocation to the same Medicare providers and facilities who received funds in the initial distribution. This second distribution is intended to augment their allocation so that the whole $50 billion general distribution is allocated proportional to the providers’ share of 2018 net patient revenue.  

    HHS automatically sent the second distribution to those providers who had submitted 2018 cost reports to CMS.  Providers who received funds during the initial distribution and who did not receive an automatic distribution on April 24 need to submit their revenue information to HHS in order to receive their additional general distribution funds.  The General Distribution Portal can be accessed here.  

    As we have previously discussed, these funds are tied to terms and conditions. The second tranche’s terms and conditions are nearly identical to the terms and conditions for the first tranche. The only difference is that for the second tranche, providers are required to submit to HHS general revenue data for calendar year 2018 and an estimate of lost revenues due to COVID-19 when applying to receive the payment or within 30 days of receiving the payment if the payment was made automatically. Each provider is also required to consent to HHS publicly disclosing that it received money through the program and the amount of money received.

    Targeted Allocations
    The remaining $50 billion available for distribution under the CARES Act will be distributed through the following targeted allocations:

    • Allocation for COVID-19 High Impact Areas – $10 billion is allocated to be distributed to hospitals in areas with a high volume of COVID-19 cases.
    • Allocation to Providers Who Provided Treatment for Uninsured COVID-19 Patients – Providers can apply to receive reimbursement for treating uninsured patients with COVID-19 by registering for the program through here.
    • Allocation for Rural Health Clinics and Hospitals – $10 billion is allocated for rural health clinics and hospitals.
    • Allocation for Indian Health Services – $400 million is allocated for distribution to Indian Health Service facilities. 
    • Additional Allocations – Finally, HHS indicates that additional providers will receive further separate funding, including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid. The details of these distributions remain unknown at the moment. 

    HHS has been regularly updating the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website, which contains FAQs, links to the attestation portal, and other useful information. The website is available here

    As always, please reach out with further questions or concerns.

    The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2024.