The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week.
These payments come after nearly $9 billion in funding released by HHS in December 2021. A total of nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments has now been distributed to more than 74,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories. This is in addition to HRSA’s distribution of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments totaling nearly $7.5 billion in funding to more than 43,000 providers in December 2021.
Provider Relief Fund payments have been critical in helping healthcare providers prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Providers have used the funds to remain in operation and to continue supporting patient care by covering a variety of costs including personnel, recruitment and retention initiatives, medical supplies, information technology, and many other functions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for healthcare providers and the communities they serve,” noted HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “The Provider Relief Fund remains an important tool in helping to sustain the critical health care services communities need and support the health care workforce that is delivering on the frontlines every day.”
Phase 4 payments have an increased focus on equity, including reimbursing a higher percentage of losses for smaller providers and incorporating “bonus” payments for providers who serve Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries. Approximately 82 percent of all Phase 4 applications have now been processed.