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Assisted living providers are among those that are receiving American Rescue Plan rural payments to help with financial effects from the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it has begun distributing $7.5 billion in ARP Rural payments to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicare beneficiaries. Among the recipients are 120 providers with the words assisted living in their names and 125 providers with senior living in their names. Award amounts among providers in these groups range from $500 to more than $348,000.

The announcement also indicated that HHS will announce the first wave of Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund payments “in the coming weeks” while continuing to process the remaining ARP Rural applications. 

The average ARP Rural payment was approximately $170,700, with payments ranging from $500 to $43 million, HHS said. More than 40,000 providers will receive the payments. 

The HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration received more than 55,000 ARP Rural applications. Many ARP Rural payment recipients also will be eligible for additional funding through the $17 billion Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund distribution.

“The infusion of these funds will be critical to ensuring rural communities maintain access to high-quality healthcare and addressing urgent needs like workforce recruitment and retention,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. 

Specifically, providers can use funds for salaries, recruitment or retention; personal protective equipment; equipment including ventilators or improved filtration systems; capital investments; information technology; and other expenses related to preventing, preparing for or responding to COVID-19.

The federal government announced in September that it was making $25.5 billion in new funding available to healthcare providers affected by the pandemic. HRSA this week updated its website to indicate that Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund and ARP Rural payments would begin going out in mid-December and continue through January.