December 14, 2021
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the imminent 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. This round of funding was open to all physicians, but in order to receive funding physicians were required to apply.
HHS is also distributing $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan rural payments to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries.
In California alone, 9377 providers will receive payments totaling $894,260,598. The average payment being announced today for small providers is $58,000, for medium providers is $289,000 and for large providers is $1.7 million. Phase 4 payments will start later this week.
The California Medical Association and American Medical Association had advocated for more of the PRF to be distributed to 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.
Physicians should be aware that any funds received over $10,000 in the aggregate during a PRF reporting period will trigger a reporting requirement through the PRF Reporting Portal.
For more information on the PRF Phase 4 monies, please the materials below: