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Application Deadline for Provider Relief Fund and Rural Payments Quickly Approaching

October 20, 2021

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, financial assistance continues to be available for providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has allotted $17 billion for phase 4 of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and $8.5 billion allotted for payments to rural providers via the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The deadline to apply for both programs is Oct. 26, 2021.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of HHS, administers the provider relief programs on behalf of HHS. HRSA is using a single application portal for both programs, which can be found here.

The determination of the phase 4 PRF payment is generally based upon a provider’s change in operating revenue and expenses between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Small- and medium-sized groups are anticipated to receive a proportionally higher amount. Providers with a higher level of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) claims will be eligible for additional funds as well.

The ARP rural payments are based on the amount and type of services provided to Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patients in rural areas. The definition of “rural” is defined using federal standards based on the address of the patient rather than the provider. Providers located in urban or sub-urban ZIP codes yet serving a large rural patient base will be eligible for these payments. A description of the payment methodology may be found here.

Both the phase 4 PRF and the ARP rural payments seek to offset any decrease in operating revenue and expenses due to the pandemic. Providers that received PRF support in the first three rounds are eligible to apply, but payments will be limited to their change in quarterly operating revenue and expenses. In other words, PRFs will not exceed lost revenue as calculated in previous PRF reporting.

For more information on how to apply for phase 4 of PRF, please contact your KSM advisor or complete this form.

George Batalis Managing Director, Healthcare Consulting

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