$2B Distributed through Provider Relief Fund, New Parity Report

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IN THE NEWS 

This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a bipartisan legislative draft aimed at reconceptualizing public health structures and supporting the public health workforce. The Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemic Act) would support the public health workforce, including loan repayment initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining frontline workers. Additionally, this bill would direct the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to continue efforts supporting access to mental health and substance use disorder services as well as directing funding towards improving rural area trauma care.  

Main Stories: 

  • Tools to Determine if Vaccine Requirements Apply 
  • HHS Announces $103M in ARPA Funds to Address Burnout Among Health Care Professionals 
  • $2B in Provider Relief Fund Payments to Health Care Providers Impacted by the Pandemic 
  • 2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress 

Tools to Determine if Vaccine Requirements Apply 

Following the recent ruling from the Supreme Court, requirements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on employee vaccination requirements now apply to certain Medicare or Medicaid providers and suppliers. New and updated tools and resources have been developed by CMS to help determine whether the vaccine requirements apply to you and your organization. Additionally, this infographic shows the phases and deadlines of the vaccination rule implementation state by state.  

HHS Announces $103M to Address Burnout Among Health Care Professionals 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), recently announced $103 million in American Rescue Plan Funding (ARPA) to support the health care workforce. The funding will help healthcare organizations establish evidence-based programs to promote mental health and wellbeing. This ARPA funding comes as healthcare organizations face labor shortages due to the pandemic. Funds will be awarded over a three-year period through three HRSA programs that focus on underserved and rural communities. 

$2B in Provider Relief Fund Payments to Health Care Providers Impacted by the Pandemic 

On January 25, HHS announced the imminent distribution of an additional $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 health care providers. Phase 4 payments have an increased focus on equity, with a higher percentage of losses reimbursed for smaller providers and “bonus” payments for providers who serve Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries. Currently, 82% of all Phase 4 applicants have been processed.  

2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress 

Earlier this week, the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Treasury issued a joint 2022 Report to Congress on the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008. The report makes recommendations to strengthen MHPAEA’s consumer protections and highlights the greater MHPAEA enforcement in addition to guidance to bolster parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits. 

ADVOCACY CORNER 

Urge Your Legislators to Support the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act. Right now, Congress is considering the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act – bipartisan legislation that will help prevent overdoses and reduce stigma by expanding access to buprenorphine. Under the MAT Act, millions of trained health professionals would be able to prescribe buprenorphine to their patients. Urge your legislator to support the MAT Act. 

HAPPENING ON THE HILL 

Supreme Court Justice Breyer Retires. Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, has written a letter announcing his intention to retire after serving more than two decades on the Supreme Court. He will not depart his role immediately and plans to stay until late June or early July when the court leaves for the summer recess.  

Guest Author

Mason Lee
Policy Associate