The Biden Administration recently announced it will release the remaining $25 billion of the $185 billion that was deposited into the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund to assist physician practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventeen billion will go to all providers, with an additional $8.5 billion to rural providers.

All physicians may now apply for this Phase 4 funding. Applications must be received by October 26, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The California Medical Association (CMA) urges physicians to get their applications in as soon as possible. (See a detailed list of eligible provider types and application instructions here.)

The application is essentially the same as the Phase 3 distribution. Physicians will be reimbursed for their revenue losses and increased COVID-related expenses from July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021 (as compared to revenues in 2019). There will be bonus payments for physicians treating Medicaid/CHIP patients. Small practices will receive a higher percentage of their lost revenues and increased expenses. Providers practicing in rural underserved areas will also receive additional funding. These bonus payments will automatically be applied by HHS.

Once HHS receives the applications, the funding will be distributed based on the total requests received. As with previous distributions, if certain terms and conditions are met, Provider Relief funds do not need to be repaid.

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