HHS Announces the Distribution of $2.5 Billion of $5.0 Billion in Recent Provider Relief Fund Allocation to Nursing Homes for COVID-19
On July 31 and August 7, HHS announced that it planned to distribute an additional $5 billion in Provider Relief Fund payments to skilled nursing facilities, in two ~$2.5 billion tranches. On August 27, HHS announced it has distributed the first approximately $2.5 billion to over 15,000 skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes with 6 or more certified beds. Although HHS has not provided additional information about the eligibility criteria for this distribution, it appears to vary from the criteria that HHS applied to the first $4.9 billion Skilled Nursing Facility payments distributed earlier this summer. HHS indicated that those payments were distributed to approximately 13,000 facilities as compared to the 15,000 facilities that received this payment. Eligible facilities received a per-facility base payment of $10,000 plus a per-bed payment of $1,450. HHS published a state-by-state breakdown of the payments.
In its press release, HHS indicates that this $2.5 billion distribution is intended to support increased testing, staffing, PPE needs, and COVID isolation facilities, but it is unclear whether HHS will set specific parameters for eligible uses of this distribution of the Provider Relief Fund. HHS also noted that it plans to distribute a another $2 billion later this fall based on certain performance indicators that will be shared in the future. (It is unclear how it will distribute the remaining approximately $500 million of its distribution said to amount to $5 billion in total).