Apply by Oct. 26 for Additional COVID-19 Provider Funds

The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened an application process for $25.5 billion in federal COVID-19 funding for providers. The same application process is used for both Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments.

The PRF Phase 4 funding is open to a broad range of providers with changes in operating revenues and expenses due to the pandemic. ARP Rural funding is open to providers who serve rural beneficiaries of Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known in Michigan as MIChild.

Additional information, including eligible provider types and application instructions, is available on the HRSA website. The agency must receive applications by Oct. 26, and members are encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible. Registration for webinars featuring guidance on using the application portal are also listed online. HRSA intends to start distributing the ARP funds by late November and the PRF funds by mid-December.

Members with questions may contact Vickie Kunz or Lauren LaPine at the MHA.

Grant Funding Available for Rural Healthcare Services

MHA-member small and rural hospitals are eligible for new funding made available through the American Rescue Plan. The Emergency Rural Health Care program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural healthcare services and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Rural healthcare is challenged by immediate financial needs stemming from COVID-19 related expenses, and long-term access to — and availability of — rural healthcare services have been further hampered by the pandemic. In response to these challenges, this program offers two tracks of funding to eligible applicants.

  • Track One: Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Track Two: Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural healthcare problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health.

Eligible applicants include public bodies, community-based nonprofits and federally recognized tribes. Facilities and projects supported through this grant must be in rural areas with populations of 20,000 or fewer and must primarily serve rural areas.

To learn more about this opportunity, members can attend an informational webinar from 2 to 3 p.m. Aug. 25 or visit the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants webpage.

This funding opportunity will be discussed at the next meeting of the MHA Small or Rural Hospital Council. Questions may be directed to Lauren LaPine at the MHA.

Explore How the American Rescue Plan Will Affect Healthcare

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) represents one of the largest fiscal advances to state and local government budgets in history. With appropriate strategic planning, these funds, along with the ARP’s other allocations for public health, education, infrastructure and mass transit agencies, can stabilize, revitalize and position communities for not only short-term benefits but a strong long-term future.

The MHA Health Foundation webinar The Impact of the American Rescue Plan on Hospitals and Health Systems will review how these healthcare organizations are impacted by the ARP funds and what providers can do to best position themselves to benefit from the act.

The webinar is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 9, and members can register for a connection fee of $195. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.