Mississippi health providers receive $375 million for relief payments

The initial flow of federal funding has made its way to Mississippi following the March passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith announced that healthcare providers in Mississippi are receiving an initial $374.8 million to cover healthcare-related costs associated with treating COVID-19 cases.

The funding is Mississippi’s share of an initial $30 billion distribution of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund created in the CARES Act. In this round, 2,755 providers and systems in Mississippi will share the funding. 

“This significant amount of money is being delivered today to cover healthcare expenses or lost revenue associated with testing and treating coronavirus patients.  These payments, which are not loans, will also help see that hospitals and providers, especially those in rural areas, can treat the uninsured without taking a big financial hit,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

In all, the CARES Act provided $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.  Providers will be given a portion of this initial distribution based on their share of total Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is administering the provider relief fund. More details are available here.

This week, Hyde-Smith helped lead a bipartisan appeal to ensure HHS gives special attention to the needs of rural hospitals and hospitals with high percentages of Medicaid and Medicare patients as it moves forward in distributing more money from the $100 billion fund.  In announcing the initial distribution, HHS stated rural providers would be given special consideration in future distributions of funding.

Mississippi is expected to receive a total of $1.25 billion in federal funding as a result of the CARES Act. State Auditor Shad White has announced his office’s intention to monitor and audit those funds to ensure that it is properly spent.