The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the distribution of approximately $9 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 payments to health care providers who have experienced revenue losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The average payment, as announced on Tuesday, Dec. 14, for small providers is $58,000, for medium providers is $289,000, and for large providers is $1.7 million. More than 69,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and eight territories will receive Phase 4 payments. Payments will start to be made later this week.
The PRF Phase 4 payments, in addition to the $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries, are part of the $25.5 billion the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing to health care providers to recruit and retain staff, purchase masks and other supplies, modernize facilities, or other activities needed to respond to COVID-19. The American Medical Association has advocated for more of the PRF to be distributed, particularly to those providers who serve in rural areas and who see low-income patients. In response, HHS is reimbursing smaller practices at a higher percentage of their revenue losses and expenses due to COVID-19, as well as using Medicare reimbursement rates to calculate payments for practices that care for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP patients.
It is important to keep in mind that funds received over $10,000 in the aggregate during a PRF reporting period will trigger a reporting requirement through the Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal. Additional information on PRF reporting and auditing may be found here.
For more information on the PRF Phase 4 monies, please the materials below: