Centene aims to make it easier for providers to get grants, small business loans 

Centene Corporation wants to help financially struggling providers secure grants or small business loans as they continue to battle COVID-19. 

The insurer Wednesday launched a new initiative to aid providers with the application processes to secure funds more quickly. As part of the program, Centene has launched an online portal to assist providers in researching which funding opportunities they may be eligible for. 

Those providers will then be connected with experts who will help them navigate applications. 

“Our providers are on the front lines every day, taking care of the most vulnerable populations,” said Centene CEO Michael Neidorff in a statement. “We’ve launched this program to make sure our partners have the support they need to access key benefits so they can continue their fight against COVID-19.” 

RELATED: Docs push HHS to offer direct funding as finances slump due to COVID-19 

Cash-strapped providers have been seeking help from insurers in securing more cash during the pandemic. Some health plans, such as UnitedHealth Group, have agreed to provide a cash infusion through advance or accelerated payments. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued close to $34 billion in advance or accelerated payments in the past week alone, the Trump administration said Tuesday.  

As the COVID-19 outbreak rolls out, plenty of big-name hospitals and health systems have been forced to lay off works and slash salaries to stay afloat. 

In addition to its online portal, Centene’s new initiative will provide access to training webinars and one-on-one consulting by working alongside health consultants, former Small Business Administration and state government agencies.