The payments are meant to assist providers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund payments through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
According to a news release, these Phase 4 General Distribution payments will go to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week, This brings the total of distributed payments from the Provider Relief Funds and the American Rescue Plan in the last three months.
“Provider Relief Fund payments have served as a lifeline for our nation’s heroic health care providers throughout the pandemic, helping them to continue to recruit and retain staff and deliver care to their communities,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra says in the release. “This funding is just the latest example of the Biden-Harris administration’s dedication to ensuring that providers continue to have the resources they need to meet the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19 and keep providing critical services to the American people.”
The Phase 4 payments are focused on equity and include reimbursing a higher percentage for smaller providers and incorporating bonuses for those which serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Medicare beneficiaries, the release says.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for health care providers and the communities they serve,” HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson says in the release. “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.”
As previously reported, HHS awarded $103 million in payments from the Provider Relief Fund aimed at improving retention by funding evidence-informed programs, practices, and training with a specific focus on practices in underserved and rural areas. The money will be given to 45 different grantees.
The rates of depression and anxiety among healthcare workers have only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic as staff member suffering the physical and emotional demands of treating patients during a public health emergency. The ARP money will fund the creation of partnerships and utilization of local resources to support healthcare professionals’ response to workplace stressors.