The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday announced an additional $20 billion is available from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) for healthcare providers to recover Covid-19-related financial losses and changes in operating expenses.
HHS highlighted behavioral healthcare providers in its announcement and encouraged these providers to apply for this latest round of funding. HHS has developed a list of behavioral healthcare providers who are now eligible for funding, such as addiction counseling centers, mental health counselors, and psychiatrists.
“Our behavioral health providers have shouldered the burden of responding and confronting this expanded challenge triggered by the pandemic,” HHS said in the announcement. “When traditional face-to-face counseling was restricted and new telehealth flexibilities were put in place in response to the pandemic, many behavioral health providers invested in and adopted telehealth technologies to continue providing patient care.”
Providers are encouraged to apply early. Be sure to apply between Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
Eligible providers include behavioral healthcare providers who had previously not been eligible (presumably because they did not participate in Medicare or Medicaid); providers who had already received PRF payments; and providers who began practicing in 2020 and were therefore not eligible to apply previously.
Providers who apply will be considered first for the 2% of patient care revenue that has already been made available. If they have not yet received payments from the PRF amounting to 2% of patient care revenue, they will receive funding to reach that amount.
In addition, those who apply will receive an add-on payment above the 2% from the $20 billion allocation based on the following criteria:
- Change in operating revenues from patient care;
- Change in operating expenses from patient care, including expenses incurred related to the coronavirus; and
- Payments already received through the prior PRF distributions
All providers receiving PRF funding will be required to accept the associated terms and conditions including reporting requirements.
HHS said it plans to hold webinars to assist with the application process.