$9 Billion in COVID-19 Relief Funds Support Healthcare Institutions

February 25, 2022 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 payments distributed approximately $9 billion to more than 69,000 healthcare institutions that have experienced revenue losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in December 2021.

The payments began in December 2021 and averaged:

The payments were made in addition to $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments to institutions and suppliers that serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries, according to HHS.

In addition, HHS reported that the department updated the terms and conditions for Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments to ensure relief funds are used to address the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recipients. HHS said that recipients whose payments exceed $10,000 are required to notify HHS of a merger with or acquisition of any other healthcare provider.

“Approximately 75% of Phase 4 funding is being distributed based on expenses and decreased revenues from July 1, 2020–March 31, 2021,” HHS said. “The Health Resources and Services Administration is distributing 25% of Phase 4 funding as bonus payments based on the amount and type of services provided to Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patients.”

As of January 2022, HRSA reported that 74,261 total providers and institutions are qualified to receive a total payment of $10,736,900,868 in Phase 4 general distribution payments.

“This vital funding will ensure critical healthcare services are delivered to communities across the country—including to those who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and medically-underserved,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “We will continue to make health care accessible for everyone who needs it and reach people where they are.”


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