In order to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, a $100 billion fund, run through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), has been made available to cover non-reimbursable costs attributable to COVID-19 under the CARES Act. This fund has been designed to get money into the health care system as quickly as possible. As such, applications will be reviewed, and payments will be made, on a rolling basis. HHS has been given significant flexibility in determining how the funds are to be allocated, as opposed to operating under a mandated formula or process for awarding the funds. While the Secretary of HHS has not yet released guidance on the application process, this is expected in the near future. BMD will provide updates as soon as this information becomes available.
Who is eligible under the PHSSEF Fund?
Eligible entities include hospitals, public entities, and Medicare- or Medicaid-enrolled suppliers and providers that provide COVID-19 related diagnosis, care, or testing.
What expenses qualify for funding?
This funding is meant to cover non-reimbursable costs and expenses related to COVID-19. Examples include:
- Building or retrofitting new ICUs
- Increased staffing or training
- Leasing of properties, medical supplies, and equipment, including personal protective equipment and testing supplies
- Building of temporary structures
- Forgone revenue from cancelled procedures
It is important to note that expenses reimbursed or obligated to be reimbursed by insurance or other mechanisms are not eligible. The Secretary of HHS has been instructed to establish a reconciliation process under which payments will have to be returned to the fund if other sources provide reimbursement for expenses.
BMD will continue to educate health care providers as additional information and further guidance on COVID-19 become available. For questions, contact any Member of BMD's Healthcare & Hospital Law group.