American Rescue Plan Act: Key Takeaways for Rural Healthcare Providers

American Rescue Plan Act: Key Takeaways for Rural Healthcare Providers

May 19, 2021

Additional aid was issued to rural healthcare providers following the approval of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, passed by Congress on March 11, 2021. Eligible providers in rural communities will soon have an opportunity to apply for funding to assist with COVID-related expenses and lost revenues not reimbursed or obligated to be reimbursed by another source.

Healthcare providers are eligible for funding if they are a Medicaid or Medicare provider that has provided testing, care or diagnoses for actual or possible cases of COVID-19. The provider must be considered a rural healthcare provider, which is defined as a provider that is:

  • Located outside a metropolitan statistical area (MSA)
  • Located in a rural census tract of an MSA
  • A rural health clinic
  • Any other rural provider that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has defined as such

The ARPA funding is similar to the Provider Relief Fund, however, there are differing requirements. To receive funding from the $8.5 billion appropriated under HHS, providers will be required to submit applications that must include:

  • Statement justifying the need for funding
  • Tax identification number of the provider
  • Documentation of reports as determined by the Secretary

HHS has not yet developed a process for eligible providers to apply for ARPA funds.

As part of the ARPA, HHS announced on May 4, 2021 the availability of approximately $1 billion for rural COVID response. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) intends to provide more than $460 million to 4,600 rural health clinics (RHCs). HRSA will issue funds during the summer where each RHC-certified clinic will receive up to $100,000. An additional $398 million will be provided to small rural hospitals (those with fewer than 50 beds and Critical Access Hospitals). These funds are to increase COVID-19 testing and expand accessibility to resources for rural residents.

For questions regarding the American Rescue Plan Act and rural healthcare, please contact REDW Principal Chris Tyhurst, Senior Manager Claire Hilleary, or Manager Emily Wilson.

Don’t miss our upcoming webinar! Join REDW’s Tribal healthcare experts for the latest Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and ARPA guidance…

REDW is committed to keeping you informed at all times, and especially through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay connected with us on LinkedIn and @REDWLLC on Twitter. Access some of our other updates on our COVID-19 Resource Hub.

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