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HHS Plans Release of COVID-19 Funding for Hospitals

The release of funding follows advocacy from the American Hospital Association and other medical groups

September 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to release an additional $25.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funding to hospitals and other health care providers, federal officials announced Friday.

The funding will support hospitals and health care providers across the country who have been impacted by the virus, including:

  • $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients
  • $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4, which will support providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic

“The funding will be distributed with an eye towards equity, to ensure providers who serve our most vulnerable communities will receive the support they need,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

The HHS decision follows advocacy from the American Hospital Association (AHA) urging the federal government to distribute the remaining available funds from the PRF.

“Virus cases and hospitalizations continue to climb across the country so providers will continue to need support,” AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said in a statement.

Pollack said ongoing support will be critical, as hospitals have continued to treat COVID-19 patients during the spring and summer surge from the Delta variant.

Funding from the ARPA and the PRF will be available through an online portal, which will open September 29, 2021. More information about the application process is available online.

During August, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) joined 42 Senate colleagues in a letter calling for HHS to provide an update on plans to distribute unobligated funds remaining in the PRF, and implement its plans for additional disbursement of those funds without any further delay.

HAP applauds HHS for releasing the additional PRF and ARPA funding. HAP continues to advocate for resources at the state and federal level to ensure hospitals can deliver outstanding care and remain anchors within their communities. 

For more information about the federal ARPA and PRF programs, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration, or Jolene Calla, Esq., HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.