April 26, 2020 / RACHEL COHRS
In a rush to get money to providers in desperate financial situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HHS sent some of providers’ $50 billion in general grant funds to facilities that have closed.
HHS’ first $30 billion grant distribution was sent automatically based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement. It is unclear exactly how much grant money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s provider relief fund was erroneously sent out, and how much has been recovered. HHS said the department prioritized getting funds out quickly and is working to claw back improperly sent funds and fix future distributions.
“Many of the providers that are not operating have already returned the funds and if an institution is closed and their bank account is also closed, the funds are automatically returned,” a HHS spokesperson said.