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HHS Announces 45-Day Compliance Deadline Extension for Providers

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing a 45 day deadline extension for providers who are receiving payments from the Provider Relief Fund to accept the Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund payments. This announcement means providers have now been granted 90 days from the date they received a payment to accept HHS Terms and Conditions or return the funds.

HHS, alongside other federal agencies, has been working day and night to support local communities and has taken action to help our healthcare system respond quickly and effectively to this pandemic. The department has kept an open line of communication with our heroic frontline providers and is being responsive to their request for additional time to review and agree to Provider Relief Fund Terms and Conditions. All providers who have received Provider Relief Fund payments must agree to the program Terms and Conditions if they wish to keep the funds.

President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers, including those on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding supports healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get treatment for COVID-19.

HHS previously announced that $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund was allocated for general distribution to facilities and providers that bill Medicare and were impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers' net patient revenue. To expedite providers getting money as quickly as possible, HHS distributed $30 billion immediately, proportionate to providers' share of Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. Then, beginning on April 24, HHS began distributing an additional $20 billion to providers based on their share of net patient revenue, and began accepting submissions from eligible providers of their financial data. With the extension announced today, providers will now have 90 days from the date they received a payment to accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. Providers that do not accept the Terms and Conditions after 90 days of receipt will be deemed to have accepted the Terms and Conditions.

Other allocations have included $12 billion for hospitals in COVID-19 high-impact areas, $10 billion for rural providers, $500 million for tribal healthcare providers and $4.9 billion for skilled nursing facilities. Some providers may receive further, separate funding, including dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid. A portion of the Provider Relief Fund is being used to reimburse healthcare providers, generally at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.

Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for more information.



Fri, 22 May 2020 18:15:00 -0400


HHS Announces $500 Million Distribution to Tribal Hospitals, Clinics, and Urban Health Centers

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $500 million in payments from the Provider Relief Fund to the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal hospitals, clinics, and urban health centers to support the tribal response to COVID-19.

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted IHS providers and programs. Many such providers have experienced significantly increased need for personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as increased labor costs due to employees that have been exposed to COVID-19. At least 233 facilities across the Indian health system serve as the only health care provider for both IHS and non-IHS beneficiaries, making them critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and reopening America. This funding provides vital support to these healthcare facilities, which in some cases may be the only healthcare facility within a day's traveling distance for those served. Combined with previous funding, this distribution brings the total amount of new resources to the Indian health system to $2.4 billion dollars.

"President Trump has prioritized the health and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout his presidency and the COVID-19 crisis," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "The Trump Administration is making a targeted allocation from the funds Congress provided to send $500 million to Indian healthcare facilities. Combined with other funding, supplies, and flexibility around telehealth, we are working with tribal governments to do everything we can to support heroic Indian healthcare workers and protect Indian Country from COVID-19."

"The Indian Health Service, along with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners, are delivering crucial services under extraordinary circumstances," said IHS Director Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee. "The resources provided by the Provider Relief Fund will make a real difference in our ability to fulfill the IHS mission of raising the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives during this pandemic."

Distribution Methodology

  • IHS and tribal hospitals will receive a $2.81 million base payment plus three percent of their total operating expenses
  • IHS and tribal clinics and programs will receive a $187,000 base payments plus five percent of the estimated service population multiplied by the average cost per user
  • IHS urban programs will receive a $181,000 base payment plus six percent of the estimated service population multiplied by the average cost per user

HHS has allocated approximately 4% of available funding for Urban Indian Health Programs, consistent with the percent of patients served by Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) in relation to the total IHS active user population, as well as prior allocations of IHS COVID-19 funding. The remaining funding will be divided equally between hospitals and clinics.

How did HHS determine operating costs for IHS clinics and UIOs?

HHS identified the service population for most service units, and estimated an operating cost of $3,943 per person per year based on actual IHS spending per user from a 2019 IHS Expenditures Per Capita and Other Federal Health Care Expenditures Per Capita report.

President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. The allocation of these funds is part of the Trump Administration's whole-of-America approach to addressing the economic impact of COVID-19 on providers and doing so as quickly and transparently as possible.

Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for additional information on the Provider Relief Fund.

Visit https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/ for the latest information on the COVID-19 response from IHS



Fri, 22 May 2020 16:00:00 -0400


HHS Announces Nearly $4.9 Billion Distribution to Nursing Facilities Impacted by COVID-19

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing it has begun distributing billions in additional relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to help them combat the devastating effects of this pandemic. Nursing homes play a pivotal role in providing skilled care to our nation’s vulnerable seniors. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. This funding, which supplements previously announced provider relief funds, will be used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.

“This funding secured by President Trump will help nursing homes keep the seniors they care for safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The Trump Administration is providing every resource we can, from funding and direct PPE shipments to regulatory flexibility and infection control consultations, to protect seniors in nursing homes and those who care for them.”

President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. In allocating these funds, the Administration is working, among other things, to address the economic impact of COVID-19 on providers and doing so as quickly and transparently as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the viability of SNFs in a variety of ways. Since the beginning of 2020, SNFs have experienced up to a 6 percent decline in their patient population as current and potential residents choose other care settings, or as current residents pass away. In addition to nursing home residents, many SNF employees have also been diagnosed with COVID-19. These additional funds may help nursing homes address critical needs such as labor, scaling up their testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment and a range of other expenses directly linked to this pandemic.

Distribution Methodology

HHS will make relief fund distributions to SNFs based on both a fixed basis and variable basis. Each SNF will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed. All certified SNFs with six or more certified beds are eligible for this targeted distribution.

Nursing home recipients must attest that they will only use Provider Relief Fund payments for permissible purposes, as set forth in the Terms and Conditions, and agree to comply with future government audit and reporting requirements.

Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for additional information.

Other Nursing Home Resources:

To find CDC guidance for nursing home safety and preparedness during this pandemic, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/long-term-care.html

To find a CMS toolkit to help nursing homes prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-toolkit-states-mitigate-covid-19-nursing-homes.pdf



Fri, 22 May 2020 08:30:00 -0400


Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed Accelerates AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine to be Available Beginning in October

Responding to President Trump’s call to develop 300 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine by January under Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and AstraZeneca are collaborating to make available at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine called AZD1222, with the first doses delivered as early as October 2020.

The agreement between AstraZeneca and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, will accelerate the development and manufacturing of the company’s investigational vaccine to begin Phase 3 clinical studies this summer with approximately 30,000 volunteers in the United States.

Under this public-private partnership, BARDA can provide up to $1.2 billion to support, in parallel, advanced clinical studies, vaccine manufacturing technology transfer, process development, scaled-up manufacturing, and other development activities. Emergency use authorization or licensure of this vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be required to make the vaccine available. Early milestones enable BARDA and AstraZeneca to determine how the program progresses forward.

“This contract with AstraZeneca is a major milestone in Operation Warp Speed’s work toward a safe, effective, widely available vaccine by 2021,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Getting a vaccine to the American public as soon as possible is one part of President Trump’s multi-faceted strategy for safely reopening our country and bringing life back to normal, which is essential to Americans’ physical and mental well-being in so many ways. The Trump Administration is making multiple major investments in developing and manufacturing promising vaccines long before they’re approved so that a successful vaccine will reach the American people without a day wasted.”

The AZD1222 vaccine candidate, which was developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and licensed to AstraZeneca, uses a vaccine platform technology which supports large-scale production. To speed vaccine development, AstraZeneca will advance its vaccine candidate into late-stage clinical studies in parallel with scaled manufacturing at BARDA’s Centers for Innovation and Advanced Development in Manufacturing (CIADM) in the United States. Working with the CIADMs enables development, technology transfer, and scaled-up manufacturing of the vaccine in the United States.

A Phase 1/Phase 2 clinical study has been underway using the proposed technology in the United Kingdom since the end of April.

AZD1222 is the fourth vaccine candidate to receive BARDA support for late-state development and manufacturing. BARDA continues to collaborate through Operation Warp Speed with other federal agencies and private industry to develop and make available vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to combat COVID-19. To date, BARDA is supporting 32 medical products for the pandemic response; in addition to the four vaccine candidates, these products include seven treatments, 17 diagnostic tests, a test to screen donated blood for the virus, and two rapidly deployable technologies to aid health providers with early detection of sepsis in COVID-19 patients.

About HHS, ASPR, and BARDA

HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. The mission of ASPR is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. Within ASPR, BARDA invests in the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products needed to combat health security threats. To date, 54 BARDA-supported products have achieved regulatory approval, licensure or clearance. To learn more about the whole-of-America response to the coronavirus pandemic, visit www.coronavirus.gov and for more information about BARDA’s COVID-19 portfolio, visit www.medicalcountermeasures.gov.



Thu, 21 May 2020 00:00:00 -0400


Providers Must Act by June 3, 2020 to Receive Additional Relief Fund General Distribution Payment

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reminding eligible providers that they have until June 3, 2020, to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit their revenue information to support receiving an additional payment from the Provider Relief Fund $50 billion General Distribution. All providers who automatically received an additional General Distribution payment prior to 5:00 pm, Friday, April 24th, must provide HHS with an accounting of their annual revenues by submitting tax forms or financial statements. These providers must also agree to the program Terms and Conditions if they wish to keep the funds. Providers who have cases pending before the department for adjudication with regard to eligibility for general distribution funding will not be impacted by this closure. All cases needing individual adjudication will need to be received by HHS no later than June 3, 2020.

The submission of tax forms or financial statements to the portal will also serve as an application for additional funding for those providers that have not already received an additional General Distribution payment. If these providers do not submit their revenue information by June 3, they will no longer be eligible to receive potential additional funding from the $50 billion General Distribution.

President Trump is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers, including those on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding supports healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get treatment for COVID-19.

HHS previously announced $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund was allocated for general distribution to facilities and providers that bill Medicare and were impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers' net patient revenue. To expedite providers getting money as quickly as possible, HHS distributed $30 billion immediately, proportionate to providers' share of Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. Then, beginning on April 24, HHS began distributing an additional $20 billion to providers based on their share of net patient revenue, and began accepting submissions from eligible providers of their financial data. Providers have 45 days from the date they received a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. Providers that do not log into the provider portal and accept the Terms and Conditions after 45 days of receipt will be deemed to have accepted the Terms and Conditions.

Other allocations have included $12 billion for hospitals in COVID-19 high-impact areas, $10 billion for rural providers, and $400 million for tribal healthcare providers. Some providers may receive further, separate funding, including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid. A portion of the Provider Relief Fund is being used to reimburse healthcare providers, generally at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.

Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for more information.



Wed, 20 May 2020 12:00:00 -0400

Latest Top (5) News

Latest Top (5) News