U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Tuesday it would distribute relief funds to Medicaid providers following complaints from Congressional leaders about the payment delay.

HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, announced it would make additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS said it expects to distribute roughly $15 billion to providers that participate in state and CHIP programs from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation. The announcement came in the wake of complaints from a bipartisan group of House and Senate committee leaders demanding a timeline for the release of the funds. In a June 3 letter, the chairs and ranking members of the committees of jurisdiction over the Medicaid program said that further delay in payment could result in long-term financial hardship and hamper Medicaid providers to serve during the pandemic and beyond.

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In addition to the disbursement of relief funds, HHS said that it would launch an enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal this week that will allow eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers to report their annual patient revenue, which will be used as a factor to determine their Provider Relief Fund payment. The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients providers serve.

To be eligible for this funding, health care providers must not have received payments from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund General Distribution and either have directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health care-related services between January 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020. Close to one million health care providers may be eligible for the relief funds. Click here to learn more about eligibility and the application process.