Eric D. Hargan

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday extended until Aug. 3 the deadline for eligible state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program providers, including assisted living operators, to apply for monies from the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund.

HHS announced June 9 that approximately $15 billion in grants would be distributed to Medicaid and CHIP providers who are experiencing lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19. July 20 was the original deadline to apply.

“The first general distribution of the Provider Relief Fund, $50 billion back in April, made payments to over 1 million providers. Approximately 450,000 of these providers care for Medicaid and CHIP recipients,” Eric D. Hargan, deputy HHS secretary, said in June. The new funds, he said, would be available to the remaining 275,000 providers that care for Medicaid and CHIP recipients but did not receive funds in the general distribution.

“These Medicaid and CHIP providers typically operate on thin margins and often include practitioners like dentists, pediatricians, assisted living facilities, and behavioral health providers like opioid treatment programs,” Hargan said.

Payments to each provider will be at least 2% of reported gross revenue from resident/patient care, according to HHS. The final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data are submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid beneficiaries a provider serves.

To be eligible for the funding, providers must not have received payments from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund general distribution in April and must have directly billed their state Medicaid program or Medicaid managed care plan for healthcare-related services between Jan. 1, 2018, and May 31, 2020.

HHS has posted a fact sheet here, instructions for the application form here, and answers to frequently asked questions here.

The American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living has posted a tip sheet and step-by-step guide for providers on how to successfully navigate the Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal for non-SNF Medicaid providers.

Forty-eight percent of assisted living communities are Medicaid-certified, and approximately 16.5% of assisted living residents rely on Medicaid to cover their assisted living services, according to NCAL.

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