HHS Pushes Deadline for Medicaid/CHIP Relief to Aug. 28

Agency extends application deadline for Medicaid providers and plans to reopen portal to certain Medicare providers from Aug. 10 until Aug. 28.

HHS has extended the application deadline for the Phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers to Aug. 28.

HHS will also give certain Medicare providers who experienced challenges in the Phase 1 Medicare general distribution application period a second opportunity to receive funding with a deadline of Aug. 28, as well.

Looking at Phase 1, the $50 billion in Phase 1 of CARES Act relief funds available to HME providers were initially dispensed in two tranches:

  • HHS automatically distributed Tranche 1’s $30 billion based on 6 percent of 2019 Medicare Revenue between April 10 and April 17.
  • Tranche 2, which was $20 billion, required suppliers to apply on the CARES Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal by June 3. The relief payment was based on 2 percent of total net 2018 (2017 or 2019, depending on when a provider filed taxes) revenues minus the funding received from Tranche 1.

Many providers — especially those that mostly serve Medicaid patients — opted to sit out Tranche 2 of Phase 1 in favor of waiting on Phase 2.

However, when HHS debuted Phase 2, it announced the $15 billion in aid for that phase was only available to providers that didn’t do any Medicare business in 2019, and many providers received little or no funding. So, the American Association for Homecare started working with HHS/CMS to solve the problem.

“We heard from HME suppliers who were excluded from substantial Medicaid-based relief on account of being eligible for a smaller measure of Medicare-based relief and reached out to HHS about this problem,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “We appreciate that leaders at the Department have reopened this opportunity to apply for additional relief based on total patient revenues to help address this issue and give suppliers across the full spectrum of a diverse HME supplier base a chance to secure a share of these funds.”

The application portal for Tranche 2’s $20 billion will reopen on Aug. 10 and close Aug. 28. Analysis by AAHomecare suggests the following providers can enroll:

  • Providers who accepted or rejected General Distribution (Phase 1) Tranche 1 payments (those automatically sent to providers in April) and did not apply for Tranche 2 can now apply for Tranche 2. 
  • Providers who were not eligible for General Distribution (Phase 1) Tranche 1 due to being a Medicaid-only provider should apply through the $15B Medicaid/CHIP funding mechanism (Phase 2) noted below. 

When it comes to Phase 2’s $15 billion for Medicaid/CHIP Funding, HHS announced it would extend the deadline for Medicaid/CHIP-only distribution to Aug. 28, as well. This funding is now called “General Distribution (Phase 2): Medicaid, CHIP and Dental Providers.”

This funding to providers who are eligible for the Phase 1 $50 billion General Distribution funds, even if those providers rejected the automatic Tranche 1 payments. 

Eligible Phase 2 providers can apply at the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher HME Business, DME Pharmacy and Mobility Management magazines. He was Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy from 2008 to 2023. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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