HHS Provider Incentive Plan for COVID-19 Funding

On September 3, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced details on incentives that will be used to pay nursing homes from a previously announced $2 billion Provider Relief Fund.

Providers will not have to apply for the funding: HHS will measure nursing home performance through required data submissions and distribute funding accordingly. Providers will be gauged on two measured outcomes: keeping new COVID-19 infection rates and mortality rates low among residents. HHS stated it will measure nursing homes against a baseline infection level in the community location where the facility is located, but did not ​specify what would constitute a “low” rate.

Qualifying nursing homes can be eligible each month, now through December, with $500 million available in each period. Nursing homes will be assessed based on the previous month’s data submissions, which will be closely audited by HHS. HHS will base its decisions on county-level information determined by nursing home-provided information sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data will include total confirmed and/or suspected COVID-19 infections per capita, as well as information on COVID-19 test positivity.  The COVID-19 infection and mortality rates will be calculated from data in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTCF COVID-19 module.

Nursing homes can qualify by being Medicare certified and being actively certified within their state. Facilities also have to be reporting to one of three data sources to help establish eligibility: Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER), Nursing Home Compare (NHC), and Provider of Services (POS).

To read the full HHS release, Click Here.​​