The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced an additional $25.5 billion will be distributed through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Phase 4 of PRF payments.
Phase 4 payments will be based on providers' lost revenues and expenditures between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. PRF Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher rate compared to larger providers. PRF Phase 4 also will include bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid, CHIP and/or Medicare patients who tend to be lower income and have greater and more complex medical needs. Phase 4 payment combined applications will be available Sept. 29.
HHS also is releasing detailed information about the methodology used to calculate PRF Phase 3 payments. Providers who believe their PRF Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly according to this methodology now will have an opportunity to request a reconsideration.
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