HHS partners with UnitedHealth to quickly disperse $30B in COVID-19 funding to providers

The outside of UnitedHealth Group's headquarters
UnitedHealth Group has agreed to help HHS to more quickly allocate $30 billion in COVID-19 funding to providers. (UnitedHealth Group)

The Department of Health and Human Services partnered with UnitedHealth Group to deliver $30 billion to providers starting on Friday, hoping for quick dispersal of the funds.

The Trump administration had previously announced earlier this week the $30 billion that will be sent to providers based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service spending in order to help them combat COVID-19. HHS shared more details on Friday on how it will get the funding to providers.

UnitedHealth Group will play an integral part in getting the funding out. HHS said providers will be paid by the Automated Clearing House account information already on file with UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare, Optum Bank or used for reimbursement through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Providers that don’t have an automated account and get a paper check from CMS for reimbursement “will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks,” HHS said in a release.

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There are some stipulations for providers for getting the $30 billion in funding. Providers have 30 days after getting the payment to sign an attestation confirming they got the funds and agree to terms and conditions.

Providers will not have to repay the payments as they are not a loan.

HHS will launch an online portal for providers to sign the attestation next week.

The agency emphasized that it is working on more targeted distribution to providers to help areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak, rural providers and providers who have a low amount of Medicare fee-for-service revenue or predominantly serve Medicaid patients.

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The $30 billion is part of a $100 billion fund that was included in a massive $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package Congress passed a few weeks ago.

Congressional Democrats are now pondering a new package that would include another $100 billion for hospitals.

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