April 23, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Public Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a process for allocating approximately $10 billion of the $100 billion Public Health and Emergency Fund enacted as part of the CARES Act to cover treatment of uninsured patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act appropriated $1 billion to reimburse providers for conducting coronavirus testing for the uninsured. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will begin distributing funds on April 27, 2020.
Providers who conducted testing or provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request claims reimbursement. According to HRSA, providers “will be reimbursed generally at Medicare rates, subject to available funding.” Providers will be required to enroll as a provider participant, check patient eligibility, submit patient information and submit claims, in order to receive payment via direct deposit.
HRSA outlined the following timeline:
- April 27 – Sign up period begins for the program
- April 29 – On demand training starts
- May 6 – Providers begin submitting claims electronically
- Mid-May – Providers begin receiving reimbursement
Additional details, including coverage criteria and services eligible for reimbursement, can be found in the HRSA fact sheet.