By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sending $30 billion in relief funds to providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that became law at the end of March.

These funds will be distributed to providers and hospitals across the United States that participate in Medicare. What hospitals and providers receive will be based on their share of 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements.

This $30 billion allocation is part of $100 billion included in the CARES Act, all designated to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to make sure Americans without insurance can receive needed testing and treatment. Beyond this initial cash infusion, HHS says it is working to distribute additional relief dollars targeted to areas where COVID-19 has hit particularly hard, rural facilities, and providers caring for uninsured patients.

The American Medical Association released a detailed guide about the $2.2 trillion CARES Act to help providers take advantage of all the many forms of relief included.

For patient access employees, COVID-19 has changed much. If life returned to normal tomorrow, the revenue cycle still may be dealing with the fallout for months to come. The May issue of Hospital Access Management is all about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed patient access departments. Almost overnight, registration, scheduling, financial counseling, and collections were upended. The issue includes articles about how staff are handling different roles, working in different locations, and using new tools to complete their jobs.

In the upcoming June issue of Hospital Access Management, author Stacey Kusterbeck will produce a series of articles about what patient access employees need to know about the CARES Act. Coverage will include information about health plans being stopped from charging cost-sharing and authorizations as well as details about recouping lost revenue from canceled procedures. For much more Relias Media COVID-19 coverage, click here.