The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced it will distribute $10 billion in a second round of COVID-19 high impact area funding to hospitals starting next week.
The HHS made the announcement through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As areas across the country see spikes in virus cases and hospitalizations, HHS said it recognizes the need to get the funds to frontline health workers fast.
“The top priority for HHS’s administration of the Provider Relief Fund has been getting support as quickly as possible to providers who have been hit hard by COVID-19,” said Alex Azar, HHS secretary. “Because we’ve carefully targeted support, we can make payments to areas most in need as the pandemic evolves, like we are doing with this round of funds.”
Payments from the $10 billion funding will offer some relief to more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide.
The second round of funding was based on a formula for hospitals with more than 161 COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and June 10, or one admission per day, or that experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID-19 admissions. Hospitals will be paid $50,000 per eligible admission.
The first round of funding, announced in May, was based on a formula that funded hospitals with 100 or more COVID-19 admissions between January 1 and April 10 and paid $76,975 per eligible admission. These previous payments were said to be taken into account when determining each hospital’s payment in this second go-around.
The first round totaled $12 billion for 395 hospitals.
HHS is providing support to health care providers through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which allocated $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers, including those disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.
Payments from the Provider Relief Fund program over the two rounds total more than $20 billion, representing almost 12 percent of the entire $175 billion program.