On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new opportunity for providers to seek funding through the HHS Provider Relief Fund. $20 billion will be directed toward this allocation, which HHS has termed the “Phase 3 General Distribution.” HHS will be accepting applications for the Phase 3 General Distribution starting October 5, 2020, through midnight on November 6, 2020. Providers should apply through the Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portal. We encourage all nursing facilities and assisted living communities to apply for the Phase 3 General Distribution as soon as possible, starting October 5th.
Key highlights of the Phase 3 General Distribution are as follows:
- Applicants: All health care providers/facilities are encouraged to apply to the Phase 3 General Distribution, including those who have received funding from a previous general or targeted distribution, as well as providers who are newly practicing in 2020 (and were therefore excluded in previous distributions). Newly practicing providers/newly opened facilities must have started providing services prior to March 31, 2020.
- 2% Patient Care Revenue: The Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to provide all providers 2% of annual patient care revenue if a provider did not receive the full 2% in a previous distribution. The Phase 3 General Distribution will also provide an equitable add-on payment to all providers to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.
- Equitable Add-On Payments: After accounting for the amount that is required to provide all applicants with their full 2% in annual patient care revenue, the equitable add-on payment for applicants will reflect:
- A provider’s change in operating revenues from patient care;
- A provider’s change in operating expenses from patient care, including expenses incurred related to coronavirus; and
- Payments already received through prior Provider Relief Fund distributions.
- Individual Awards: Please note, the Phase 3 General Distribution methodology will take into account the number of other applicants, so the exact equitable add-on payment amounts are unknown at this time.
- Terms and Conditions: All Phase 3 General Distribution recipients will be required to attest to receiving the Phase 3 General Distribution payment and accept the associated Terms and Conditions. through the same Portal within 90 days of receipt of the funds. The Terms and Conditions for the Phase 3 General Distribution can be found here. Generally, the Phase 3 General Distribution funds must be used to cover lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 or health-related expenses related to COVID-19, including but not limited to supplies, equipment, workforce training, reporting COVID-19 test results, building or constructing temporary structures for COVID-19 care, and/or acquiring additional resources, including facilities, supplies, or staffing to expand or preserve care delivery. Payments cannot be used for expenses or losses that have been or will be reimbursed from other sources.
More information can be found on the Provider Relief Fund webpage for providers under “How to Apply for Phase 3 General Distribution,” which can be found here. HHS has also updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQ document with information on the Phase 3 General Distribution. AHCA/NCAL’s summary of this FAQ update can be found here.