Virginia rural health Medicaid providers can apply for HHS funding Sept. 29

Providers who serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients in rural Virginia could get a cut of an $8.5 billion funding package from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An additional $17.5 billion will offset revenue loss and expenses under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4. 

 

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HRSA will use standards from the HHS Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to determine which providers will receive payments, aimed towards those serving Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare patients. These payments are expected to follow standard Medicare reimbursement rates. 

Providers will apply for both the ARP rural payments and PRF Phase 4 funds through one portal to “expedite and streamline” the process, according to HHS.

Beth O’Connor, executive director of the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA), said that she expects to hear more information about the funds at upcoming webinars next week. In a conversation with State of Reform earlier this month, O’Connor mentioned that most funds for rural providers are federal, much like this most recent package. VRHA works with rural providers to ensure they can properly access the funds.

“There’s been some deadlines that have been very interesting. ‘How are you supposed to spend this money in this amount of time, when you don’t have it yet?’ All the red tape that happens with those types of funds, [VHRA is] helping people understand how the process works.”

Applications for the payments will open Sept. 29, 2021. Prospective applicants can read more about eligibility requirements and the application process for the PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments at https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/future-payments. HHS also announced it would allow a final 60-day grace period following the Sept. 30 deadline for providers to ensure they comply with PRF Reporting requirements during the first reporting time period.