The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun distributing the remaining $20 billion of the $50 billion “general distribution” to Medicare providers, which represents a portion of the provider relief fund established in the CARES Act.

All providers—even those who received their distributions automatically on Friday—must enter revenue data into the General Distribution Portal, which is now open, including estimated revenue losses in March and April. Medicare providers for whom HHS did not have adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to the portal before HHS can calculate and distribute their proportionate share of the $20 billion.

HHS states in its general distribution portal FAQ document that it may use the information entered into the portal to allocate Provider Relief Funds aside from the $50 billion general distribution. All providers receiving additional general distribution funds must also agree to a second set of Terms and Conditions.

The $20 billion will be distributed such that when added to the initial $30 billion allocation, providers will receive their proportionate share of 2018 total net patient revenue (HHS is using a denominator of $2.5 trillion). Providers that received a proportionately higher initial distribution according to the new methodology may receive a relatively small allocation from the $20 billion, or in some cases may not receive any funds in the second round. HHS has been silent on whether any of the initial distribution could be subject to recoupment, but we are seeking additional clarification.

More information on the Provider Relief Fund, including information on both the general and targeted distributions, is available on the HHS website, and the FAQ document provides important information and examples on the general distribution.

We are still waiting for additional information from HHS on the distribution of the $10 billion for COVID-19 high-impact areas and will keep members updated on any developments.