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Capitol Correspondence - 07.21.20

Breaking News: Two Updates from HHS on Emergency Funds Portal

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Today and tomorrow: HHS Schedules Focus Groups on Emergency Funds Portal: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration has scheduled two focus groups for today (July 21) and tomorrow (July 22) to help providers with questions about $15 billion in Medicaid/CHIP funds available through the Provider Relief Fund. 

As written in the invitation extended by HHS:

“HHS and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are organizing two focus group sessions on the Medicaid and CHIP distribution of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF).  The PRF supports American families, workers, and the heroic healthcare providers in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. HHS is distributing $175 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.

The purpose of these focus groups is to identify opportunities to increase application volumes in the current Medicaid/CHIP distribution, which is intended to support eligible providers with $15B in funding.  The focus group discussion will center on three topics:

  1. Awareness of the PRF program and Medicaid/CHIP distribution
  2. Understanding of program components, such as eligibility
  3. Technical challenges faced during the application process

These sessions will be held on Tuesday, July 21stfrom 6:30 – 7:30 pm ET and Wednesday, July 22nd from 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET.  We would greatly appreciate your participation and look forward to hearing your valuable input on the experiences of providers with the Medicaid and CHIP distribution of the Provider Relief Fund. We would also welcome your support in identifying and encouraging Medicaid and CHIP providers to participate the focus groups.

To confirm your participation, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, email, title, organization and state, and note which session you would like to attend.

Thank you for your collaboration to improve the PRF program and how we support providers in their coronavirus response.  More information can be found on the Medicaid/CHIP distribution at the PRF website and in the Medicaid/CHIP distribution fact sheet.”

 

Deadline Extended for HHS Emergency Funds Portal Applications: Late Friday the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it had pushed back the deadline for Medicaid and CHIP providers to apply for COVID-19 emergency funds, from the original date of July 20 to a new date of August 3. (Note that the deadline announcement is at the very end of the linked page.) 

Having heard from many of our members that they had ongoing questions and technical challenges with the application process, ANCOR advocated for Congress to pressure HHS into giving an extended deadline. We are grateful for the reprieve granted by the extension, as many providers had not yet applied to the funds by the end of last week. Some members that have already applied shared with us that they had already received funding, so we encourage our members who have not yet applied to do so as soon as possible, as funds are deposited relatively quickly.

Disbursed funds come from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, also known as the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Applications to receive funding can be made through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund portal. It includes application forms, FAQs, and information about the program as a whole.