U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all Md.) announced $191,711,521 in payments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to help health care providers across Maryland recover from revenue losses and expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This latest tranche of PRF funding is authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and comes from HHS through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It will be distributed across 1,723 providers in Maryland. These federal funds are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s push to release $25.5 billion to health care providers to recruit and retain staff, purchase masks and other supplies, modernize facilities and replenish resources depleted from COVID-19.
“The pandemic has significantly strained and tested our health care providers,” the lawmakers said. “We must continue to support our frontline providers as they respond to the sustained demand for their services in our communities, especially those worst hit by COVID-19. This federal relief will help ensure communities have access to the care and resources they need.”
Approximately 75 percent of Phase 4 PRF funding is being distributed based on expenses and decreased revenues from July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. HRSA is reimbursing a higher percentage of losses and expenses for smaller providers – which generally entered into the COVID-19 pandemic on worse financial footing, have historically operated on slimmer financial margins, and typically care for vulnerable populations – as compared to larger providers. Consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s dedication to health equity and supporting the most vulnerable communities, HRSA is distributing 25 percent of Phase 4 funding as bonus payments based on the amount and type of services provided to Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patients.