Administration Releases $25.5 Billion in Provider Relief Funds

Industry, Legislative,

This information is provided by national senior living association partner, Argentum.

HHS announced they would be releasing $25.5 billion in provider relief, to include $17 billion in Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund (PRF) allocations and $8.5 billion in funding specifically from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) dedicated to rural health providers. Argentum has confirmed that assisted living facilities are included in the definition of “provider” for phase 4 relief, but is continuing to seek clarification on the specific distribution criteria. Argentum has been calling on the Biden administration for months to release additional funds and to ensure funds are targeted and equitable for senior living providers. Argentum greatly appreciates your engagement in the “Release the PRF” campaign over the past several weeks that has helped apply pressure to the administration on the needs of providers.

The application to apply for relief will open on September 29, 2021. Phase 4 relief will be available to offset lost revenues and changes in operating expenses from July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, with higher reimbursements for smaller providers and bonus payments based on the amount of services to Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare patients, priced at Medicare rates. A single streamlined application will be available for providers to apply for funding both from the Phase 4 PRF and from the rural ARP funds (see rural qualification information here). More information on applying is available here.

Additionally, HHS released detailed information about the methodology utilized to calculate Phase 3 payments. Providers who believe their Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly according to this methodology will now have an opportunity to request a reconsideration. HHS announced in July that it would be establishing a formal review process, following repeated requests by Argentum to provide greater transparency of award determinations and the ability to appeal award amounts believed to be calculated incorrectly or for providers denied relief altogether.

 Argentum staff and counsel are currently in the process of reviewing the specifics of today’s announcement and will be providing additional information as it becomes available. They will also be providing additional information on the six-pronged COVID-19 action plan, the “Path out of the Pandemic,” which was unveiled by President Biden yesterday and includes vaccine mandates potentially applicable to many senior living providers.