HHS to Distribute Additional $20 Billion Tranche of Provider Relief Funds – Applications Now Required

Providers that provided COVID-19 related care/treatment to uninsured patients may now submit claims for reimbursement to the federal government.  The submission portal went live today and will remain open while funds last.  Eligible providers that wish to participate are encouraged to register and submit claims as soon as practicable using the following portal: https://coviduninsuredclaim.linkhealth.com/claims-and-reimbursement.html

By way of background, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), $1 billion was appropriated to compensate providers for COVID-19 related care that was provided to uninsured patients.  The Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that it may supplement that $1 billion with an additional allocation from the “Provider Relief Fund,” which was established based on an appropriation under the CARES Act (although the size of such additional allocation has not been identified).

While funds last, providers will be able to seek reimbursement at Medicare rates (with certain limited exceptions) for claims for testing and/or providing certain COVID-19 related services to uninsured patients.  Reimbursable services include the following services rendered on or after (or for dates of admissions on/after) February 4, 2020, when there is a primary COVID-19 diagnosis:

  • Specimen collection, diagnostic and antibody testing.
  • Testing-related visits including in the following settings: office, urgent care or emergency room or telehealth.
  • Treatment, including office visit (including telehealth), emergency room, inpatient, outpatient/observation, skilled nursing facility, long-term acute care (LTAC), acute inpatient rehab, home health, DME (e.g., oxygen, ventilator), emergency ambulance transportation, non-emergent patient transfers via ambulance, and FDA-approved drugs as they become available for COVID-19 treatment and administered as part of an inpatient stay.
  • FDA-approved vaccine, when available.

As a condition of participating, providers are required to abstain from balancing-billing any patient for COVID-19 related treatment.  If any prior bills were issued to uninsured patients, then such patients must be notified that they have no duty to pay.  Any prior payments received from the uninsured COVID patients must be refunded in a timely manner.

Additional terms/conditions will also apply, which can be found here: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/terms-and-conditions-uninsured-relief-fund.pdf

To be eligible and to submit claims, providers must register at the following website, which also provides information about claims submission: https://coviduninsuredclaim.linkhealth.com/claims-and-reimbursement.html

For more information regarding this program, please contact your regular HLP attorney, or Partners@thehlp.com, or call (212) 734-0128 or (248) 996-8510.

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