Blog

Update on Recent Funding from HRSA

Dear Regional Partners, 

I am pleased to share with you that today, a new application cycle for $25.5 billion in COVID-19 provider funding has opened.  Applicants are able to apply for both Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments during the application process. PRF Phase 4 is open to a broad range of providers with changes in operating revenues and expenses. ARP Rural is open to providers who serve rural beneficiaries covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

See a detailed list of eligible provider types and application instructions here.

Applications must be received by October 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Providers who have previously created an account in the Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portal and have not logged in for more than 90 days will need to first reset their password before starting a new application. In order to streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application.Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,300 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to support major health care construction and renovation projects. These awards will strengthen our primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination.  Health centers will use this funding for COVID-19-related capital needs, constructing new facilities, renovating and expanding existing facilities to enhance response to pandemics, and purchasing new state-of-the-art equipment, including telehealth technology, mobile medical vans, and freezers to store vaccines.    FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Funding for Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements award recipients in Region 6 can be found here. Recent awards of over $5 Million to Expand Services at HRSA’s Health Center Program School-Based Service Sites can be found here
Recent awards of over $48 Million to Health Centers for Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. Initiative can be found here

Finally, on September 17, 2021 HRSA announced nearly $350 million in awards to every state across the nation to support safe pregnancies and healthy babies. Funding will expand home visiting services to families most in need, increase access to doulas, address health disparities in infant deaths, and improve data reporting on maternal mortality. 

FY2021 awards to strengthen maternal and child health in Region 6 can be found here: 

Our team at the HRSA Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) remain committed to supporting your COVID-19 response efforts.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions, concerns, or requests for support and engagement.

Best,
Jeri D. Pickett
HRSA Regional Administrator, Region 6

Change to Provider Relief Funds FAQs

NRHA wanted to notify you of a change to the Provider Relief Fund on justifying what is allowable under expenses.  Page 21 of the attached FAQ from 9.13.21 has eliminated the term “marginal” in the last sentence (see below).  Providers must still relate and document the expenses claimed (net of other reimbursements) to COVID as noted in this and other FAQs.  This clarification in policy also appears to be consistent with the feedback members are receiving when talking with the HRSA PRF hotline.  

How do I determine if expenses should be considered “expenses attributable to coronavirus not reimbursed by other sources?” (Modified 9/13/2021) 
Expenses attributable to coronavirus may include items such as supplies, equipment, information technology, facilities, personnel, and other health care-related costs/expenses for the period of availability. The classification of items into categories should align with how Provider Relief Fund payment recipients maintain their records. Providers can identify their expenses attributable to coronavirus, and then offset any amounts received through other sources, such as direct patient billing, commercial insurance, Medicare/Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); other funds received from the federal government, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Provider Relief Fund COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured (Uninsured Program); the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF); and the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Provider Relief Fund payments may be applied to the remaining expenses or costs, after netting the other funds received or obligated to be received which offset those expenses. The Provider Relief Fund permits reimbursement of marginal increased expenses related to coronavirus provided those expenses have not been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are not obligated to reimburse. 

NRHA recommends you speak with your financial advisors/council on what this change may mean to your PRF expenditures and reporting. 

Update of COVID-19 Therapeutics from HHS/ASPR

We wanted to share an update from the Department of US Health and Human Services around policies related to allocation, distribution, and administration efforts surrounding the current monoclonal antibody therapeutics available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Beginning Monday, September 13th HHS made a change to their distribution process to coordinate through a state/territory-coordinated system.  The intent of this change is to maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally providing states and territories with consistent, fairly distributed supply over the coming weeks and while the USG works to procure additional supply.  Key to this change is that administration site (i.e. providers) will not be able to order mAbs directly from the distributor and must work with their state/territory to access the supply.  

Weekly distribution amounts will be determined based on weekly reports of new COVID 19 cases and hospitalizations in addition to data on inventories.  Weekly distribution determinations posted on phe.gov/mabs

HHS Announced 60 Day Grace Period for PRF Reporting

In addition to making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in light of the challenges providers across the country are facing due to recent natural disasters and the Delta variant, HHS (Department of Health & Human Services) announced Friday a final 60-day grace period to help providers come into compliance with their PRF Reporting requirements if they fail to meet the deadline on September 30, 2021, for the first PRF Reporting Time Period.  While the deadlines to use funds and the Reporting Time Period will not change, HHS will not initiate collection activities or similar enforcement actions for noncompliant providers during this grace period.

New Provider Relief Funds available – $25.5 billion

The Biden-Harris Administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.  View the press release for the PRF Phase 4 here.  For more information on eligibility requirements and the application process for PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments, visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/future-payments.