HHS doling out $22B to COVID-19 hotspots, rural hospitals

HHS announced May 1 that it is processing the next round of payments from the provider relief fund created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

HHS is distributing $12 billion to 395 hospitals that provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10. The agency said those hospitals accounted for 71 percent of COVID-19 inpatient admissions reported to HHS from 6,000 hospitals across the U.S. Within the $12 billion pool, $2 billion will be distributed based on Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments.  

HHS is also disbursing $10 billion to hospitals, clinics and health centers in rural areas. The agency said rural acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals will receive at least $1 million, with additional payments based on operating expenses. 

The hospitals will receive the funds via direct deposit in coming days, HHS said. 

"HHS has put these funds out as quickly as possible, after gathering data to ensure that they are going to the providers who need them the most," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. "With another $75 billion recently appropriated by Congress, the Trump Administration will continue doing everything we can to support America's heroic healthcare providers on the frontlines of this war on the virus."

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