WV Press Release Sharing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that West Virginia’s healthcare providers can soon apply for $25.5 billion in new funding from the Provider Relief Fund, including $8.5 billion specifically for rural providers that Senator Manchin fought to include in the American Rescue Plan. This funding is distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will support healthcare providers that were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers can submit their applications through an online portal beginning on September 29, 2021.
“West Virginia’s healthcare providers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to care for their fellow West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while operating on shoestring budgets. I am thrilled HHS is distributing $25.5 billion from the Provider Relief Fund, including the $8.5 billion I fought to include in the American Rescue Plan for rural providers. Nearly every West Virginia healthcare provider is eligible to receive funding to offset costs and revenues lost during the pandemic, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living providers and other healthcare providers. And after pushing to change the classification system that kept rural West Virginia counties from crucial healthcare funding, six West Virginia counties are now eligible for the $8.5 billion for rural providers. My office will continue to work with providers across the state on their applications and with HHS to distribute this funding with haste. I will continue to advocate for our hardworking frontline workers and for funding to support healthcare providers, especially in rural communities, in the Mountain State,” said Senator Manchin.
Senator Manchin has been fighting for funding to support West Virginia healthcare providers, especially in rural communities, who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through funding from the American Rescue Plan and other COVID-19 relief packages, Congress allocated $178 billion for the Provider Relief Fund. During negotiations over the American Rescue Plan, Senator Manchin fought to include $8.5 billion for rural healthcare providers to ensure they can continue to provide critical care to their communities.
This year, Senator Manchin has been working with the HHS and healthcare providers to distribute Provider Relief Funds. As of May 31, 2021, 25 percent of all of the Provider Relief Funds and all of the $8.5 billion for rural providers had not been distributed. In August, Senator Manchin urged HHS to distribute the funds remaining in the Provider Relief Fund and other healthcare relief programs.
“We appreciate Senator Manchin and the entire West Virginia delegation for their efforts in securing these critically needed federal funds and for working with HHS to have them released to West Virginia hospitals. Virus cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in West Virginia and across the nation and these funds will help our hospitals manage escalating expenses and critical staffing needs. COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on our health care heroes, who have been on the front lines of the pandemic for a full year and a half. These funds provide much needed support to our workforce and to West Virginia hospitals as we continue to care for our neighbors across the state,” said Jim Kaufman, President and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association.
“The announcement that the Biden administration is releasing new funding to support rural health care providers, including community health centers, is welcome and exciting news,” Sherri Ferrell, CEO of the West Virginia Primary Care Association, said. “Additionally, the next phase of provider relief funding is sorely needed as West Virginia community health centers continue to lead in the coronavirus pandemic response with ongoing testing and vaccination and treatment services.”
Senator Manchin has successfully fought to revise the Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) codes, which changed Boone, Clay, Hampshire, Lincoln, Preston and Wirt counties from “urban” to “rural.” Providers that serve West Virginians living in these six counties and other rural-designated counties are now eligible to receive funding from the $8.5 billion for rural providers.
Healthcare providers can submit their applications through an online portal beginning on September 29, 2021. Providers will have a 60-day grace period to help cover providers and ensure they can come into compliance with the Provider Relief Fund’s reporting obligations.