April 23, 2020: New Announcements Today on Provider Relief Fund Allocations:
Today, HHS announced additional information about allocations of the $100 billion Provider Relief Act created in the CARES Act. As the Secretary said again today, “our goal in disbursing the money from the CARES Act [is] to get it out the door as quickly as possible while targeting it to those who are most impacted by the pandemic.” Below is a short outline of the information released, but for those of you who want more detail, I would point you to two resources: (1) Fact Sheet, & (2) Secretary Azar’s remarks at the top of today’s press briefing on the announcement.
High Level Description of PRF Allocation Information Released Today:
- $50 Billion General Allocation to Providers: $50 billion of the PRF will be allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers’ 2018 net patient revenue. The distribution will also take into consideration the challenges faced by facilities serving a significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients, as reflected by their Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Adjustment. As you know, $30 Billion of the $50 has already been distributed, the $20 billion balance will be distributed on a rolling basis, beginning at the end of this week. More details provided in the attached fact sheet and the Secretary’s remarks.
- $10 billion for Providers in Hot Spots: $10 billion of the PRF will be allocated for a targeted distribution to hospitals in areas that have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Note there is an April 23rd midnight PT deadline for submitting certain information. More details provided in the attached fact sheet and the Secretary’s remarks.
- $10 billion for Rural Health Providers: $10 billion will be allocated for rural health clinics and hospitals, most of which operate on especially thin margins and are far less likely to be profitable than their urban counterparts. More details provided in the attached fact sheet and the Secretary’s remarks.
- Reimbursement for Providers Treating Uninsured COVID-19 Patients: Every health care provider who has provided treatment for uninsured suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request claims reimbursement from the PRF at Medicare rates, subject to available funding.
Providers can resister for the program on April 27, 2020 through a portal, https://www.hrsa.gov/coviduninsuredclaim, and begin submitting claims in early May. More detail is found here.
- Other: Some savvy readers will note that this does not necessarily add up to the full $100 billion. On that score, also announced is that some providers will receive further, separate funding , including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid
April 22, 2020: Provider Relief Fund Update:
As you know, the CARES Act appropriated $100 billion to establish a Provider Relief Fund. This Fund, administered by the Secretary of HHS is being used to distribute payments to health care entities across the country that have been affected by the coronavirus. To date, $30 billion has been distributed generally to health care entities across the country.
HHS will soon make targeted distributions to hospitals and other facilities that have been particularly affected by the increased burden of caring for those with the coronavirus. To inform how these funds are distributed, HHS is asking all hospitals to provide the following information:
For each facility with a Medicare Tax Identification Number (TIN):
- Total number of Intensive Care Unit beds as of April 10, 2020
- Total number of admissions with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 from January 1, 2020 to April 10, 2020
- National Provider Identifier
How will providers share the information being requested and what steps do they need to take to be considered for impact funding?
Submitters are being asked to provide this information through an authentication portal established by an HHS vendor, TeleTracking. They will be able to submit this data via data entry at an individual hospital level, entering multiple hospitals at one time, or batch upload of data of multiple hospitals via a designated individual or third party entity.
The health care provider’s site administrator received an email from HHS on Sunday April 12th, or thereafter, with instructions and a link to register on this portal. If providers have not already done so, they should register on the portal as directed in the email.
This process has been created to minimize burden, and should not require more than 10 minutes. If it is not clear who within an organization received this notification, or if providers have questions about the registration process, they can contact TeleTracking Technical Support at 877-570-6903.
To help HHS continue to move provider relief funding out to providers quickly, submitters must deliver this information by 11:59 p.m. PT, Thursday April 23.
Providers should understand that submitting the data is a prerequisite to payment, but is not a guarantee of eligibility for any amount.
Concordance recognizes the vital need to protect front-line healthcare professionals as they provide care for patients across the country. In this ever-evolving situation, we are doing everything possible to efficiently and effectively manage and maintain our supply of PPE products and other critical items that have increased in demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created industry-wide challenges that include delays in inventory replenishment and implementation of product allocations. We are experiencing a multitude of backorders and industry inventory levels are declining at rates never before experienced. As a result, customers may receive partial shipments due to out of stock inventory and backorders. Our local Customer Service Specialists and Account Managers will continue to keep their Concordance customers updated on inventory availability for their specific location.
We are working with our supplier partners and trade groups, such as the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) to understand and manage the pandemic’s impact on product supply and the subsequent product allocations that have been put into place.
We recognize that this COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve daily and we will adapt our practices to focus on delivering the critical supplies that our customers need to care for their patients.