The country’s hospitals stepped up in unprecedented ways to face COVID-19’s challenges. As outbreaks rose, hospitals had to ramp up testing efforts while treating thousands of patients in an effort to save lives, control the virus’ spread, and safeguard the health of other patients and hospital staff. These challenges have also created significant financial pressures for America’s hospitals. As a response to this crisis, as well as the pressure from medical groups and lawmakers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is releasing $25.5 billion in new funding available for healthcare providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Coronis Health, we understand how the pandemic, just like every other crisis, should allow opportunities for evaluation and change. For hospitals, it could mean adopting new payment schemes, exploring more revenue streams, or reaffirming your vital role in healthcare delivery. By partnering with us, you won’t just remain compliant amid the changing demands of documentation and regulation requirements, but we will help you financially thrive.
The Financial Impact of COVID on Practices
Hospitals rose to the challenge of COVID, to the point of stretching themselves thin. COVID dramatically changed the healthcare system – hospitals had to set up tents, increase supply of general and intensive care unit bed capacity, and cancel non-emergency procedures. Furthermore, the pandemic increased the demand for certain drugs, medical supplies, and equipment such as PPEs, ventilators, and hospital beds. Because of supply chain disruption, the cost of these essential supplies has increased exponentially since the pandemic’s onset.
As a result, the American Hospital Association (AHA) estimates a total four-month financial impact of $202.6 billion in losses for America’s hospitals, or an average of $50.7 billion per month.
What Has the Government Done to Help?
After the AHA and lawmakers urged HHS to distribute unused funds, the government finally recognized the financial strain caused by the global pandemic and agreed to advocate for policies to support hospitals. Specifically, the HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This funding critically helps health care providers who have endured demanding workloads and significant financial strains amidst the pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The funding will be distributed with an eye towards equity, to ensure providers who serve our most vulnerable communities will receive the support they need.”
What is PRF Phase 4?
Qualified hospitals may receive Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues due to the pandemic. These distributions do not need to be repaid to the US government, as long as hospitals comply with the terms and conditions.
According to HHS, 75% of the $17 billion Phase 4 PRF distribution will be based on hospitals’ COVID-19-related lost revenues and expenditures from July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. As indicated on their report:
“Smaller providers will be reimbursed at a higher rate compared to larger providers. Specifically, medium, and small providers will receive a base payment plus a supplement, which will be higher for smaller providers. Large providers will receive a payment based on a percentage of their lost revenues and expenses. HHS will determine the exact amount of the payments after analyzing the applications received. The remaining 25% of the $17 billion will be distributed in the form of bonus payments for providers based on the amount and type of services they provide to Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients. These payments will generally be made at Medicare rates. Providers who serve any patients living in rural areas, as defined by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), and who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria, will receive a minimum payment.”
How Much Funding?
The HHS reports that the funding includes “$8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.”
Who Will Get It?
The grants are divided into two different portions: $17 billion for hospitals who can prove they have losses and $8.5 billion for rural hospitals and health care providers.
How to Get It
Hospitals can apply for a share of $17 billion in grants if they can prove they had losses or expenses due to COVID-19 between July 2020 and March 2021. To expedite and streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, HHS recommends hospitals apply for both programs in a single application.
For more information about eligibility requirements, the documents and information hospitals needed to complete the application, and the application process for PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments, visit hrsa.gov.
Get Your Practice Back on Track with Coronis Medical Billing Services
Because of our industry-leading technology, global solutions, and highly experienced team, Coronis Health has quickly become the trusted partner in COVID-19 billing throughout the pandemic.
We understand that hospitals can become buried in claims processing with the continuous rise of COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and treatment. This does not deter us. We are equipped to help you clear your covid billing backlog, recover critical payments, and create new revenue streams in the process. In fact, we were able to help a client clear a 250,000+ test backlog in just two weeks. We’re forward-thinking innovators who utilize the latest technology to support and assist your hospital’s administration department. From quick implementation to artificial intelligence (AI), we understand that constant evolution is what drives success. With a team of experienced medical coders, we can ensure accurate coding and billing for your COVID-19 long-hauler patients. We are confident that our medical billing services can increase your internal revenue.
And we know that even in this pandemic, each client will need customized, scalable solutions that meet their immediate needs and help hit long-term goals. Our relationship-centric approach means we will not give you a one-size-fits-all solution. We are an agile company possessing global capabilities but with a personal touch. We are a full-service billing and management company with over 30 years of experience in helping hospitals with medical billing services, practice management, and revenue cycle management.
Partner With Coronis Health For Your Revenue Cycle Management Needs
Healthy finances lay the foundation for solid practice. Our goal is to maximize your profits and reduce your administrative costs, so you can continue providing quality care for your patients and stay financially independent. Allow us to help you during this stressful time. To learn more, contact Coronis Health today or request your free financial checkup.