CARES ACT: Analyzing the $10B Distribution to Rural Hospitals

DATE: 05/20/2020

Following the payments sent to hospitals as part of the Provider Relief Fund, The Department of Health and Human Services began distribution of the $10 billion in COVID-19 relief to rural providers on May 6. Hospitals, rural health clinics and community health centers will each receive a minimum base payment plus a percent of their annual operating expenses. This expense-based method accounts for operating cost and lost revenue incurred by rural hospitals for both inpatient and outpatient services.

DataGen has assessed the way these funds will be allocated to hospitals, as detailed in the figure below. To identify eligible rural providers, we used the traditional CMS rural definition (non- Metropolitan Core-Based Statistical Areas) and also Health Resources and Services Administration Federal Office of Rural Health’s list of rural ZIP codes deemed as rural.

We captured FFY 2018 operating expenses for hospitals from Worksheet G-3, Line 4 (or using FFY 2017 when FFY 2018 was not available) utilizing the fourth quarter 2019 HCRIS update.

This analysis includes Critical Access Hospitals in urban ZIP codes and excludes tribal providers who can access funds from the $453 million set aside for tribal funding, as reported below.

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