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COVID-19 | 5 Things About the Provider Relief Fund

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

ALERT: Providers need to take action by June 3, 2020. Providers must accept the HHS Terms and Conditions and submit revenue information to be considered for an additional General Allocation payment.


President Trump 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 that provide $175 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding supports healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.

$50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers' net patient revenue. The remaining $50 billion is allocated to providers in areas particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, rural providers, and providers who serve low-income populations and uninsured Americans.

FOR PROVIDERS: Providers can use the portals below to sign an attestation, to accept or reject the funds, agree to terms and conditions, submit revenue information, and request reimbursement. Read the descriptions below to find the appropriate portal.

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal

Providers who have been allocated a payment must use this portal to sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 45 days of payment.

Sign Attestation Button


General Distribution Portal

All providers who had automatically received funds prior to 5:00 pm, Friday, April 24th, must provide HHS with an accounting of their annual revenues by submitting tax forms or financial statements. These providers must also agree to the program Terms and Conditions if they wish to keep the funds.

The submission of tax forms / financial statements to the portal will also serve as an application for additional funding. All providers submitting their financial information will be considered for additional funding from the General Distribution.

Reminder providers need to take action by June 3, 2020. Providers must accept the HHS Terms and Conditions and submit revenue information to be considered for additional Relief Fund General Distribution payment. Quick Links:

Submit Financial Data Button


COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal

Providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 individuals on or after February 4, 2020 may use this portal to request claims reimbursement.

Request Reimbursement Button

$50 billion general allocation

$50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19, based on eligible providers' net patient revenue. The initial $30 billion was distributed between April 10 and April 17, and the remaining $20 billion is being distributed beginning Friday, April 24.

  • To expedite providers getting money as quickly as possible, $30 billion was distributed immediately, proportionate to providers' share of Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. On Friday, April 10, $26 billion was delivered to bank accounts. The remaining $4 billion of the expedited $30 billion distribution was sent on April 17.
  • This simple formula used the data on-hand to get the money out the door as quickly as possible. The Administration was transparent and upfront additional funds would be going out quickly to help providers with a relatively small share of their revenue coming from Medicare fee-for-service, such as children's hospitals.
  • HHS will begin distribution of the remaining $20 billion of the general distribution to these providers on April 24 to augment their allocation so that the whole $50 billion general distribution is allocated proportional to providers' share of net patient revenue.
  • On April 24, a portion of providers will automatically be sent an advance payment based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to the General Distribution Portal for additional general distribution funds.
  • Payments will go out weekly, on a rolling basis, as information is validated, with the first wave being delivered at the end of this week (April 24, 2020).
  • Providers who receive funds from the general distribution have to sign an attestation confirming receipt of funds and agree to the terms and conditions of payment and confirm the CMS cost report. Click here to sign the attestation and accept the Terms and Conditions
  • The Terms and Conditions also include other measures to help prevent fraud and misuse of the funds. All recipients will be required to submit documents sufficient to ensure that these funds were used for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to coronavirus. There will be significant anti-fraud and auditing work done by HHS, including the work of the Office of the Inspector General.
  • Read the methodology for targeted allocation payments.
  • President Trump is committed to ending surprise bills for patients. As part of this commitment, as a condition to receiving these funds, providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a presumptive or actual COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.
  • View a list of providers who received a payment from the General Distribution of the Provider Relief Fund who have attested payments as of May 4, 2020.

Targeted allocations

  • The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring that Americans are protected against financial obstacles that might prevent them from getting the treatment they need for COVID-19.
  • As announced in early April, a portion of the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund will be used to reimburse healthcare providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.
  • Every health care provider who has provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request claims reimbursement through the program and will be reimbursed at Medicare rates, subject to available funding.
  • Steps will involve: enrolling as a provider participant, checking patient eligibility and benefits, submitting patient information, submitting claims, and receiving payment via direct deposit.
  • Providers can register for the program on April 27, 2020, and begin submitting claims in early May 2020. For more information, visit coviduninsuredclaim.hrsa.gov.
  • As a condition, providers are obligated to abstain from "balance billing" any uninsured patient for whom the provider seeks reimbursement for COVID-19-related treatment.
  • Recognizing the particular impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on hospitals in certain parts of the nation, and that inpatient admissions are a primary driver of costs to hospitals related to COVID-19, HHS is distributing $12 billion to hospitals on the frontlines.
  • These payments are going to 395 hospitals who provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10, 2020.
  • $2 billion of these payments will be distributed to these hospitals based on their Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments.
  • These 395 hospitals accounted for 71 percent of COVID-19 inpatient admissions reported to HHS from nearly 6,000 hospitals around the country.
  • The distribution uses a simple formula to determine what each hospital receives: hospitals are paid a fixed amount per COVID-19 inpatient admission, with an additional amount taking into account their Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments.
  • These hospitals will begin receiving funds via direct deposit in the coming days.
  • View the state and county breakdown.
  • View a list of the 395 providers who received a payment from the COVID-19 High-Impact Allocation of the Provider Relief Fund.

Rural hospitals, many of whom were operating on thin margins prior to COVID-19, have also been particularly devastated by this pandemic. As healthy patients delay care and cancel elective services, rural hospitals are struggling to keep their doors open. $10 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is being paid to rural healthcare providers.

  • Eligible recipients of the $10 billion rural distribution include, rural acute care general hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and Community Health Centers located in rural areas.
  • Hospitals and RHCs will each receive a minimum base payment plus a percent of their annual expenses. This expense-based method accounts for operating cost and lost revenue incurred by rural hospitals for both inpatient and outpatient services.
  • The base payment will account for RHCs with no reported Medicare claims, such as pediatric RHCs, and CHCs lacking expense data, by ensuring that all clinical, non-hospital sites receive a minimum level of support no less than $100,000, with additional payment based on operating expenses.
  • Rural acute care general hospitals and CAHs will receive a minimum level of support of no less than $1,000,000, with additional payment based on operating expenses.
  • Eligible providers have begun receiving funds in the coming days via direct deposit, based on the physical address of the facilities as reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), regardless of their affiliation with organizations based in urban areas.
  • View the state-by-state breakdown.
  • Recognizing the strain experiences by the Indian Health Service, $500 million will be allocated for Indian Health Service facilities, distributed on the basis of operating expenses. Indian Country is also being impacted by COVID-19.
    • This money will be distributed as early as next week on the basis of operating expenses for facilities.
    • This complements other funding provided to IHS and work we've done to expand IHS capacity for telehealth.
  • There are some providers who will receive further, separate funding, including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid.

Helping ensure all Americans have access to care

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as amended by the CARES Act, requires private insurers to waive an insurance plan member's cost-sharing payments for COVID-19 testing. The President also secured funding to cover COVID-19 testing for uninsured Americans.
  • President Trump has also secured commitments from private insurers, including Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield system, to waive cost-sharing payments for treatment related to COVID-19 for plan members.
  • Additionally, President Trump is committed to ending surprise bills for patients. As part of this commitment, as a condition to receiving general funds, providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a presumptive or actual COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.

Additional information on the initial $30 billion distribution

Recognizing the importance of delivering funds in a fast and transparent manner, $30 billion is being distributed immediately – with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020 – to eligible providers throughout the American healthcare system. These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.

Read the state-by-state breakdown of the initial $30 billion general distribution.
Read the breakdown for the $30 billion general distribution by Congressional District.
Note that this breakdown shows the amount allocated to billing organization for eligible recipients based on the billing organizations' address, not necessarily the state where the providers are operating.

  • All facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial rapid distribution.
  • Payments to practices that are part of larger medical groups will be sent to the group's central billing office.
    • All relief payments are made to the billing organization according to its Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
  • As a condition to receiving these funds, providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.
  • This quick dispersal of funds will provide relief to both providers in areas heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and those providers who are struggling to keep their doors open due to healthy patients delaying care and cancelled elective services.
  • If you ceased operation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are still eligible to receive funds so long as you provided diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. Care does not have to be specific to treating COVID-19. HHS broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19.
  • Providers will be distributed a portion of the initial $30 billion based on their share of total Medicare FFS reimbursements in 2019. Total FFS payments were approximately $484 billion in 2019.
  • A provider can estimate their payment by dividing their 2019 Medicare FFS (not including Medicare Advantage) payments they received by $484,000,000,000, and multiply that ratio by $30,000,000,000. Providers can obtain their 2019 Medicare FFS billings from their organization's revenue management system.
  • As an example: A community hospital billed Medicare FFS $121 million in 2019. To determine how much they would receive, use this equation:
    • $121,000,000/$484,000,000,000 x $30,000,000,000 = $7,500,000
  • Priorities for the remaining $70 billion
    • The Administration is working rapidly on targeted distributions that will focus on providers in areas particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, rural providers, providers of services with lower shares of Medicare reimbursement or who predominantly serve the Medicaid population, and providers requesting reimbursement for the treatment of uninsured Americans.
  • HHS has partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to provide rapid payment to providers eligible for the distribution of the initial $30 billion in funds.
  • Providers will be paid via Automated Clearing House account information on file with UHG or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
    • The automatic payments will come to providers via Optum Bank with "HHSPAYMENT" as the payment description.
    • Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from CMS, will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks.
  • Within 45 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions of payment. Click here to sign the attestation and accept the Terms and Conditions.
  • HHS' payment of this initial tranche of funds is conditioned on the healthcare provider's acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, which acceptance must occur within 45 days of receipt of payment. Not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, the provider must do the following: contact HHS within 45 days of receipt of payment and then remit the full payment to HHS as instructed. The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal will guide providers through the attestation process to accept or reject the funds.

Yes. The CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program has delivered billions of dollars to healthcare providers to help ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to combat the pandemic. The CMS accelerated and advance payments are a loan that providers must pay back. Read more information from CMS.

All relief payments are being made to providers and according to their tax identification number (TIN). For example:

  • Large Organizations and Health Systems: Large Organizations will receive relief payments for each of their billing TINs that bill Medicare. Each organization should look to the part of their organization that bills Medicare to identify details on Medicare payments for 2019 or to identify the accounts where they should expect relief payments.
  • Employed Physicians: Employed physicians should not expect to receive an individual payment directly. The employer organization will receive the relief payment as the billing organization.
  • Physicians in a Group Practice: Individual physicians and providers in a group practice are unlikely to receive individual payments directly, as the group practice will receive the relief fund payment as the billing organization. Providers should look to the part of their organization that bills Medicare to identify details on Medicare payments for 2019 or to identify the accounts where they should expect relief payments.
  • Solo Practitioners: Solo practitioners who bill Medicare will receive a payment under the TIN used to bill Medicare.

Ensuring Americans are not surprised by bills for COVID-19 medical expenses

The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring that Americans are protected against financial obstacles that might prevent them from getting the testing and treatment they need from COVID-19.

  • As announced in early April, a portion of the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund will be used to reimburse healthcare providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.
    • As a condition, providers are obligated to abstain from "balance billing" any patient for COVID-related treatment.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private insurers to cover an insurance plan member's cost-sharing payments for COVID-19 testing.
  • President Trump has also secured commitments from private insurers, including Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield system to waive cost-sharing payments for treatment related to COVID-19 for plan members.
Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed on May 22, 2020