Additional COVID-19 Hospital Aid Breakdown

April 24, 2020

HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced that the department will soon pay out an additional $20 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act's provider relief fund to top providers who were disadvantaged or didn't get distribution from the first $30 billion round (paid out April 10 and 17) of grant funds based on Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement.

  • This second wave funding is now based on 2018 net patient revenue to determine a provider org's total share of the total $50 billion. Based on this, HHS will distribute the second round of grants accordingly.

  • From this $20 billion funding, payments will be going out on a weekly basis as data is validated. The first set of providers are getting distribution of funding today (Friday).
    • However, some organizations worry that if their reported cost report data is not complete, that they may be left out of the distribution of funds or delayed.
    • A portion of providers will automatically be sent an advance payment based on the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports.
    • Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to a portal opening this week.
    • Provider orgs who receive their money automatically will still be required to submit their revenue information so that it can be verified.
      • They will also need to sign an attestation saying they received the funds and that they agree to the terms.

  • Many in the industry are frustrated with this new fund formula from HHS. They had hoped HHS would base the formula on COVID-19 related losses.
    • Even when HHS chose to distribute funds to rural hospitals and Indian Health Service providers based on operating expenses, they still based general funds on net patient revenue.

  • Those awaiting payout should be on the lookout for notices from HHS on stimulus money. Double check email inboxes and spam folders.

  • The lack of documentation and transparency from HHS makes it unclear how much money will be left from this second wave funding provision after Friday's payouts.

  • The combined total of these two phases of funding distributions make up half of the $100 billion earmarked for healthcare providers for the CARES Act.
    • On Wednesday, Azar said that some of the remaining $50 billion will go toward uninsured claims dating back to Feb 4, though a specific figure was not quoted.
    • Another $10 billion is going toward targeted relief for hot spots/high impact areas like New York City, while $10 billion will be for rural hospitals, and $400 million will be for the Indian Health Service.

Who qualifies for the additional $10 billion High-Impact Area Targeted Allocation?

  • As stated above, an additional $10 billion is targeted for hot spot area hospitals.

  • To apply for this, provider orgs should have given their information via the HHS data sharing and authentication portal by midnight Thursday, April 23. PT
    • Data required in the submissions included total number of ICU beds (as of April 10), as well as total number of COVID-19 positive admissions (from Jan 1-April 10).

  • HSS high-impact targeted distribution will favor provider orgs serving a significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients.

Stay tuned for additional health and health IT industry insight related to the COVID-19 crisis.