HHS on Friday announced plans to distribute $1.4 billion in grant funds to free-standing children’s hospitals. The tranche is HHS’ latest distribution from the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund that lawmakers created to help healthcare providers offset coronavirus-related expenses and lost revenue. Hospitals have asked for Congress to add $100 billion to the fund, but negotiations on another relief package have stalled. HHS said the new distribution would go to nearly 80 children’s hospitals not affiliated with larger systems to ensure they get proportional grant funds compared with other hospitals. Qualifying hospitals will either be an exempt hospital under the CMS inpatient prospective payment system or be a HRSA-defined Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education facility. The facilities will be eligible grants of 2.5% of their net patient revenue. Of the data available in a state-by-state breakdown, HHS indicated that Ohio, California and Texas will be the top recipients. However, the department is still verifying information for two dozen hospitals, so that balance could change. The Children’s Hospital Association declined to comment on the distribution.
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