April 26, 2020
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 23, 2020, announced a $20 billion phase two round of funding for health care providers from the $175 billion CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. HHS is dispersing the additional $20 billion to providers to replace lost revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds are grants and do not need to be repaid.
Hospitals that submit cost reports to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) automatically received direct deposits on April 24, 2020. Physicians will need to apply to HHS to receive phase two payments. All providers with a Medicare billing TIN and who have already received funding from the Provider Relief Fund are now eligible to apply for a portion of this $20 billion by submitting data about their annual revenues (most recently filed IRS tax return) and estimated lost revenue (for all payors) for March and April 2020 via the Provider Relief Fund General Distribution Portal. Providers who have already received money from the Provider Relief Fund were heavy Medicare participating providers.
Please note there is conflicting information about whether a provider who has not previously received funding from the Provider Relief Fund can apply for this round of funding. The American Medical Association (AMA) and California Medical Association (CMA) are trying to get clarification. In the meantime, physicians who have a Medicare billing TIN and have received funding from the Provider Relief Fund are encouraged to prepare your information and apply as soon as possible because there will be a high demand for these funds. While we wait for an answer from CMS, CMA also encourages physicians who have a billing TIN (not necessarily a Medicare billing TIN) and have NOT previously received funding from the Provider Relief Fund to still apply since the portal’s customer service line said that all physicians with a billing TIN should apply.
For more information, see the HHS FAQ and application guide.
HHS continues to assure CMA that the third wave of funding will be dedicated to physicians and physician specialties who do not have Medicare-heavy caseloads, such as Medicaid providers.
AMA has also developed guidance to help physicians pull together the information they need to submit to the portal. In the guidance, AMA advises physicians to obtain the following information before applying:
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) that has received prior Provider Relief Fund payments
- TINs of subsidiary organizations that have received prior Provider Relief Funds but do notfile separate tax forms (i.e., subsidiary organizations that are accounted for in the parent organization’s tax filing)
- The Provider Relief Fund portal’s customer service line responded that anyone with a billing TIN (including pediatricians and gynecologists) should complete the application.
- Amount of payments received from the Provider Relief Fund
- Lost March 2020 Revenues
- Estimated lost April 2020 Revenues
- Relief Fund payment transaction numbers / check numbers
- A copy of your most recently filed tax forms