SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #138: New Opportunity for Providers Applying for Federal Relief Funds and Additional Guidance

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an additional funding opportunity for Medicaid/CHIP providers to apply for federal Provider Relief Funds. HHS has allocated $20 billion for this round of funding. The application period runs through Nov. 6, 2020. Providers are encouraged to apply early.

Providers that have previously received, accepted, or rejected a general distribution award, behavioral health providers, and health care providers that began practicing Jan. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, are eligible for funding. 

Provider submissions will be reviewed to confirm that the provider has received Provider Relief Fund payments equal to 2% of patient care revenue. Applicants that have not received payments equal to 2% of patient revenue will receive that payment. Additionally, funds will be available to account for providers’ changes in operating revenue and in operating expenses due to COVID-19. 

HHS has indicated that it will use information provided on applications submitted in determining how to allocate these additional funds. NC Medicaid or NC Health Choice providers may qualify and are encouraged to apply. 

Additional Provider Relief Fund Guidance 

On Sept. 19, 2020, HHS released additional guidance for providers receiving more than $10,000 in previous Provider Relief Fund payments. 

  • This guidance requires providers to use Provider Relief Funds to first cover the cost of COVID-19 related expenditures, some of which may have been funded with other sources such as FEMA dollars. 
  • The guidance also defined “lost revenue” to mean “net income” from patient care and set a cap of 2019 net income from patient care. In essence, this means that providers cannot be more profitable in 2020 than they were in 2019. 

We encourage providers who have received more than $10,000 in previous Provider Relief Fund payments to review this guidance in order to accurately report financial information to HHS. 

Resources

•    Apply for the Provider Relief Fund
•    Instructions for applications
•    HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund 
•    More information about eligibility can be found here

Contact

Medicaid Contact Center: 888-245-0179