At the White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on April 7, Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced that this week CMS will begin distributing $30 billion of the $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) that Congress had allocated to “eligible health care providers” in the CARES Act. According to Verma, this first tranche, $30 billion, is not based on a “first-come, first-served basis.”

Instead, the funds will be distributed based on Medicare revenues with “no strings attached.” Verma added that most Medicare providers have a direct deposit program and that funds will go directly in their accounts. For those providers who do not receive funds through direct deposit, there will be a simple registration process.

Verma also stated that CMS recognizes that there are other types of healthcare providers (e.g., obstetricians-gynecologists, pediatricians, and nursing homes) that do not receive significant funds from Medicare. These healthcare providers will be addressed in the second tranche of funding in which these types of providers will be prioritized.

Further details regarding the $100 billion PHSSEF may be found here. Interested parties should monitor for additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the first and second tranche of funding.

If you have any questions about the PHSSEF and guidance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the authors of this alert.