A second wave of relief payments totaling $20 billion is on its way to healthcare providers. Take note: To access and keep the relief funds, providers must verify their 2018 payment receipts with the federal government.
The new cash infusion follows the earlier release of $30 billion to healthcare providers that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began distributing in mid-April. Both series of payments are part of the broader $100 billion CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
This time, however, the funds are targeted to providers across the board, not only those who treat a bulk of the Medicare population. Whereas the initial release of $30 billion was tied to historical Medicare payments, the new funds are based on a percentage of all-payer data.
This second release is part of HHS’ promise to supply funds to providers that may have missed out on large cash receipts from the initial disbursement. In this release, HHS is basing the share of relief payments on the revenue data providers submit in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cost reports.
The HHS began distributing payments to providers from this $20 billion on April 24. Payments will go out weekly, as information is validated. Payments are calculated so that a provider’s allocation from the entire $50 billion general distribution will be in proportion to such provider’s 2018 net patient revenue. Total revenues of Medicare facilities and providers in 2018 is estimated to be $2.5 trillion. Providers can estimate their expected general revenue distribution through the following formula:
(Individual Provider 2018 Revenue/$2.5 Trillion) X $50 Billion = Expected General Distribution
- Providers that previously provided CMS with 2018 cost reports will receive their portion of the funds automatically, but they will have to complete an attestation through the HHS Payment Portal and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Providers that have not shared their 2018 revenue information will have to submit that information to HHS through the General Distribution Portal before they will be eligible.
All payments may only be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus, and the payment should reimburse the recipient only for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to the coronavirus. If a recipient does not have lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19 equal to the amount received, the recipient must return the funds.
For more information, read the HHS’ General Distribution Portal FAQs. Call your Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing & Consulting professional for assistance.
The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor Yeo & Yeo’s COVID-19 Resource Center for ongoing developments. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking professional advice.