$8.5B in aid earmarked for rural healthcare, but no Biden pick to administer it yet

HHS has yet to name a point person to administer the remaining amount in the $187 billion Provider Relief Fund, including the $8.5 billion designated for rural healthcare, according to STAT News and CNN

Congress created the provider fund last year under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to offset expenses and lost revenue attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund had $178 billion allocated to it under the Trump administration, and in March the Biden administration added $8.5 billion to the fund for rural healthcare providers.

Under the Trump administration, the point person for the relief fund was a deputy secretary. However, the Biden administration has not decided who will handle decisions about distributing the remaining funds, according to a senior official who spoke to the publications. 

The fund is run by the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of HHS.

An HHS official told CNN that "officials in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources  provided regular briefings to the transition team on the PRF and continue to meet regularly with senior HHS leadership as the administration reviews all programs and policies, including considerations for the PRF program."

The news was first reported by STAT.

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