Apply for the CARES Provider Relief Fund…while there are still funds.

There have been 11 million jobs lost in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. Many have been on furlough with continuing employer-sponsored health care. But as the nation faces a third wave of spiking cases, many of those furloughed are being formally laid-off, creating more self-pay patients and greater Charity Care liability for hospitals.

In April, the CARES Act allocated $175 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients with COVID-19. Then on October 1st, HHS announced an additional $20 billion. As of September 30th, HHS has only paid out a modest $881 million to about 8,000 providers. And the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) estimates just $31.1 billion remaining in the fund (contingent upon available funding). With the next pandemic aid package locked in congress, these funds could soon be cannibalized by other CARES programs.

Even if your hospital isn’t currently overwhelmed by COVID 19 self-pay patients yet, we encourage you to visit HHS’s website for more information on how to apply for grant funding at: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/index.html.

Of course, QRS provides a more long-term solution for self-pay charity care with our Disability Eligibility service. For more information visit www.qualityreimbursement.com/services.