HRSA to Pay RHCs Who Have Not Yet Received RHC COVID-19 Testing Program Funds on Monday
On Monday, December 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide $9.3 million to 188 previously unpaid Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in Rural Health Clinic (RHC) COVID-19 Testing Program funding to broaden support to COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing in rural communities.
These previously unpaid RHCs did not appear in the CMS data (QCOR and Provider of Service) in May 2020 because they were certified after the May payment date, or were left out of earlier data due to administrative and technical issues. These RHCs will receive $49,461.42 per individual clinic site via the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) mechanism which was appropriated and authorized in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PL 116-139).
Since May, HRSA has worked with NARHC and NOSORH to identify RHCs that did not receive the initial $49,461.42. After the initial funding distribution, RHC organizations had the opportunity to accept or return RHC COVID-19 Program Testing funds. Returned RHC COVID-19 Testing Program funding allowed for a funding to previously unpaid RHCs.
NARHC does not have the list of 188 RHCs so we cannot verify eligibility for any particular organization. However, we encourage those of you who have newer RHCs that did not receive funding to check your bank accounts Monday morning. A select few of the 188 RHCs will receive this funding via a paper check in the mail.
Inevitably, with a program of this scope, there may still be RHCs or organizations that are inadvertently left out. If you believe that your organization has not received the proper amount of funds from HRSA you can email RHCCOVID-19Testing@hrsa.gov with details about your situation and the HRSA RHC COVID-19 Testing Program Team will investigate. Please verify if you received a payment Monday before emailing them with your concerns.
To be clear, this funding will be made available to the Tax Identification Number (TIN) organizations that own one of the 188 RHCs on HRSA’s list. The payment will amount to exactly $49,461.42 per eligible RHC owned by the TIN organization. In some cases, the TIN organization will be the RHC itself, in many other cases, the TIN organization will be the hospital or system that owns the RHC.
TIN organizations that receive this funding in December will be required to report COVID-19 tests and spending categories monthly on www.RHCcovidreporting.com. December data is due by January 31.
The terms and conditions for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program remain the same and can be found here: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/terms-and-conditions-rural-testing-relief-fund.pdf
The FAQs for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program can be found here: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions
HRSA has funded the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) to provide technical assistance to RHCs on the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program. As part of the cooperative agreement, NARHC developed the RHC COVID-19 Testing Report website (RHC CTR). NARHC has partnered with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) to provide technical assistance for RHCs and RHC CTR. If you have additional questions you may email NARHC RHCcovidreporting@narhc.org, NOSORH firstname.lastname@example.org, or HRSA RHCCOVID-19Testing@hrsa.gov.