$25.5 Billion in COVID-19 Provider Relief Supports Smaller Practices

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is allocating a total of $25.5 billion in relief funding for healthcare providers and facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first relief allocation since December 2020, HHS aims to send out the funds with a particular focus on equity. That means higher payments for smaller providers who don’t get as many revenue opportunities as larger practices.

The now two-year-long health crisis has taken a heavy financial toll on medical practices across the country. So to offset the revenue losses, a new tranche of COVID-19 provider assistance packages is set to go out to qualified healthcare providers.

The funding will include $8.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which aims to help practices serving rural areas. Meanwhile, $17 billion will be sourced from the Phase 4 distribution of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and will go to a broad range of healthcare providers and facilities who can present documentary evidence of pandemic-related revenue losses.

Considering the crucial role healthcare providers have played during the pandemic, it’s only fitting that you get the assistance you deserve. The $25.5 billion in HHS relief funding could be the boost your practice needs to finally get back on its feet. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the requirements and what the aid all entails.

Covered Calendar Period

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HHS will base the ARP and PRF payments calculation on your practice’s margins between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021 — periods when the country saw peak COVID-19 cases.

Additionally, the distribution of ARP funds to rural providers will depend on the number of Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare patients served during the covered dates. It’s also worth noting that the agency will use existing Medicare rates to calculate payments.

To help providers recover from the pandemic, 75% of the PRF Phase 4 funds will go to payments meant to cover revenue losses and pandemic-related expenses. The remaining 25% will go towards bonus payments for providers who have served a disproportionate number of Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare patients. Like the ARP program, HHS will also calculate the PRF bonuses according to existing Medicare reimbursement rates.

Read More: Strategies for Supporting the Business Side of Your Practice

Application Process

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In an effort to disburse the funds as fast and efficiently as possible, HHS is taking steps to streamline the application process. You can apply for both the ARP and PRF programs in a single application starting September 29, 2021. The agency is also extending its September 30th reporting deadline, granting providers a final 60-day grace period.

“We are committed to distributing this funding as equitably and transparently as possible to help providers respond to and ultimately defeat this pandemic,” said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa in a statement to Healthcare Finance.

To see if your practice qualifies for the ARP payments, you can check the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer. Meanwhile, the opening of the application portal is on September 29, 2021. To prepare, you will need to gather your most recent tax documents and financial statements for the second half of calendar year 2020 and the first quarter of calendar year 2021.

Check Your Eligibility Status

Minimize Administrative Burdens

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Gathering the necessary documentary requirements and submitting applications and reports are time-consuming processes. These kinds of administrative tasks can get in the way of patient care and sometimes even how you run your practice.

On the other hand, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to earn and increase your revenue. So rather than doing it all on your own, get help from experienced claims and billing professionals to minimize your administrative burdens.

Read More: Learning From Patient Payment Trends and Increasing Your Revenue

Meditab offers a comprehensive remote staffing solution to help you with administrative functions. With expert support, you can ensure that your documents, reports, and applications are all in order so you can get paid quickly without the hassle.

With all the challenges healthcare providers have endured during the pandemic, you deserve financial assistance to help stimulate your business. Take advantage of this opportunity and maximize your revenue potential. Now more than ever, every dollar counts.

Learn More About Remote Staffing



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Source : https://blogs.meditab.com/