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HRSA announces additional pandemic relief funding

Eligible dentists encouraged to apply for Provider Relief Fund Phase 4

September 10, 2021

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The Health Resources and Services Administration is announcing an additional $25.5 billion in new funding for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Sept. 29, eligible dental providers can apply to receive additional funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ fourth phase of the Provider Relief Fund, according to a Sept. 10 news release.

The funds, which will be distributed through HRSA, include $17 billion for providers who can document revenue loss and expenses between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, as a result of the pandemic. There is also $8.5 billion earmarked for providers who serve rural patients.

According to HRSA, the funds are intended to support providers with the most need and Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers — “who tend to operate on thin margins and often serve vulnerable or isolated communities — for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher percentage compared to larger providers.” The phase also includes bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and/or Medicare patients to ensure equity.

"We know that this funding is critical for health care providers across the country, especially as they confront new coronavirus-related challenges and respond to natural disasters," said Diana Espinosa, acting HRSA administrator. "We are committed to distributing this funding as equitably and transparently as possible to help providers respond to and ultimately defeat this pandemic."

The Provider Relief Fund was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and allows dental providers to apply for payments made for health care-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the pandemic.

For providers who received funding in the first phase of the Provider Relief Fund, HHS is reminding them that they have until Sept. 30 to submit their information to the PRF Reporting Portal. Learn more about all of the reporting requirements deadlines in this previous ADA News story.

HHS also said to promote transparency in the Provider Relief Fund program, it has released detailed information about the methods it used to calculate Phase 3 payments, and providers who believe their Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly will have the opportunity to request a reconsideration. HHS will be releasing more information on the reconsideration process soon.

The ADA has an updated FAQ to help dentists who may have questions about the Provider Relief Fund.

For more information about eligibility requirements, documents and information needed, and application process, visit the HRSA website.

For more information about the ADA's advocacy efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.