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Below are important updates about HRSA’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program and HRSA’s COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund.
Claims that have been submitted by these deadlines will be paid subject to eligibility and availability of funds.
Refer to HRSA’s website or contact the Provider Support Line at (866) 569-3522; for TTY dial 711. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Refer to HRSA’s website or contact the Provider Support Line at (833) 967-0770; for TTY dial 1-888-970-2920. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
March 22, 2022
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), today announced more than $413 million in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments to more than 3,600 providers across the country. This is the fourth round of PRF Phase 4 payments, totaling nearly $12 billion that has been distributed to more than 82,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories since November 2021. This is in addition to HRSA’s distribution of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments totaling nearly $7.5 billion in funding to more than 44,000 providers across the country over the past four months.
PRF payments received in the first half of 2022 can be used until June 30, 2023. With today’s payments, approximately 89 percent of all Phase 4 applications have been processed. Remaining applications require additional manual review and HRSA is working to process them as quickly as possible.
Read the full release HERE.
With American Rescue Plan funding, HRSA has supported COVID-19 vaccination, testing, treatment, and masks for underserved populations and rural communities across the country; has helped keep the doors of health centers open and helped health centers lead the fight against COVID in some of the hardest hit communities across the country; has allowed HRSA to provide direct resources to rural clinics and hospitals to help rural communities respond to COVID.
Access the ARP One Year Anniversary Fact Sheet HERE.
On March 18, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Connecticut Attorney General announced that a Connecticut eye care practice and its owners had agreed to pay $192,699 to resolve allegations that the practice improperly employed an individual who was excluded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) from federal health care programs.
According to the DOJ’s announcement, the practice employed an excluded individual as its practice administrator from Feb. 2010 through May 2021. The employee had been excluded from all federal health care programs for a prior conviction of health care fraud. During the employee’s tenure, the practice billed and sought reimbursements from federal health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. A portion of the federal health care program reimbursements that the practice received were used to pay the excluded employee’s salary and benefits.
Connecticut’s Attorney General, William Tong, noted:
The List of Excluded Individuals exists to ensure individuals convicted of serious healthcare fraud are not entrusted with public healthcare programs in the future. It was the responsibility of this employer to check the federal list and ensure the employee was authorized to perform this work.
In its announcement, DOJ cautioned health care providers to remain vigilant in screening for exclusion status of all employees and contractors (including administrative staff in addition to clinical staff), pointing to the OIG’s guidance on employing and contracting with excluded individuals and entities.
Before hiring or contracting with any individual or entity (and regularly thereafter), health care providers should make sure to check the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities on the HHS-OIG website, the federal contractor debarment database (SAM.gov), and any applicable state-specific Medicaid exclusion lists. Health care providers often fail to routinely screen for exclusion status of vendors and administrative staff, but this settlement serves as a warning that failure to take appropriate precautions, for both clinical and administrative personnel and contractors, could prove costly.
Source: The FCA Insider