This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that $15 billion would be available to eligible state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers. This funding is available to Medicaid and CHIP providers under the Provider Relief Fund, which was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and funded by appropriations through the CARES Act and an additional supplemental funding bill.
According to the announcement, payments are now available to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers equal to at least 2 percent of reported gross revenues from patient care in calendar years 2017, 2018, or 2019, as selected by the provider. This funding is supposed to provide relief to eligible providers who are now experiencing lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19. According to HHS, the types of providers eligible for this funding include behavioral health providers, dentists, and other healthcare providers. Therefore, MFTs who are Medicaid or CHIP providers should be eligible to apply and receive funding under this distribution.
Eligible providers must apply online to HHS for funding. There are many terms and conditions pertaining to this funding, which can be found here, including the following:
- Providers must have directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for healthcare services between January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019.
- Providers must have filed a federal income tax return in 2017, 2018, or 2019, or otherwise exempt from filing a tax return.
- Providers must have provided patient care after January 31, 2020.
- Providers must not have received payments from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund General Distribution to Medicare providers.
- Providers must not have ceased providing patient care.
To apply to funding, please apply through the enhanced provider relief portal.
For additional information on the distribution of funds to MFTs and other providers who are state Medicaid or CHIP providers, please see the Provider Relief Fund FAQs on the HHS website, especially the section on this website pertaining to the Medicaid distribution. Members are strongly urged to read the relevant terms and conditions and FAQs before applying. The government has the ability to change the terms and conditions of this program, so it is possible that some of the terms and conditions may change.
Providers with questions can call the HHS vendor’s provider support line at (866) 569-3522. The application deadline for applying is July 20, 2020.
AAMFT is glad that the federal government is finally distributing funds under the Provider Relief Fund to Medicaid and CHIP providers. The first distributions under the fund were made in April. However, only Medicare providers were eligible to receive these funds, thus leaving out many providers not enrolled in Medicare, such as LMFTs. On April 17, AAMFT sent a letter to HHS urging the Department to make additional funds available to all providers impacted by COVID-19, including Medicaid providers and other behavioral health and other healthcare providers who are not currently Medicare providers. We thank HHS for distributing these funds to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers. We encourage the government to distribute additional funds to MFTs and other behavioral health providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have any questions to AAMFT about this program, please contact us at FamilyTEAM@aamft.org.