As noted in a press release to WSBS from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), recognizing the incredibly thin margins safety net hospitals operate on, HHS is announcing the distribution of $311,917,167 in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals in Massachusetts serving the most vulnerable citizens. This payment is being sent directly to these hospitals via direct deposit this week. Across the nation, more than $10 billion is being delivered to safety net hospitals this week.

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“Healthcare providers who focus on treating the most vulnerable Americans, including low-income and minority patients, are absolutely essential to our fight against COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “HHS is using funds from Congress, secured by President Trump, to provide new targeted help for Massachusetts safety-net providers and clinicians.”

HHS is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic 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.

Qualification for these safety net hospitals to receive payment was based on:

  • A Medicare Disproportionate Payment Percentage (DPP) of 20.2 percent or greater;
  • Average Uncompensated Care per bed of $25,000 or more. For example, a hospital with 100 beds would need to provide $2,500,000 in Uncompensated Care in a year to meet this requirement;
  • Profitability of 3 percent or less, as reported to CMS in its most recently filed Cost Report.

Recipients received a minimum distribution of $5 million and a maximum distribution of $50 million.

HHS also announced it was opening an enhanced portal to allow Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs, and expects to distribute approximately $15 billion to eligible providers that have not received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation.