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Getting COVID Relief Funds? Here’s How to Invest Them for Better Patient Outcomes

Starting December 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began distributing around $9 billion of phase four COVID relief funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

These payments are being directed toward more than 69,000 health care providers across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and eight territories who experienced revenue expenses and losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amount of money providers will receive as their phase four payment will vary depending on their size. According to the HHS, small providers are receiving an average payout of $58,000, while medium providers are receiving $289,000 on average. Large providers are receiving an average payout of $1.7 million.

How Healthcare Providers Can Spend COVID Relief Funds

As long as providers meet the terms and conditions stipulated by the HRSA, they may not need to worry about repaying the provider relief funds (PRF) they receive now at a later date.

According to HRSA, “Eligible providers may use funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and for related expenses or lost revenues attributable to coronavirus.” Additionally, HHS states that COVID relief funds can be used “to recruit and retain staff, purchase masks and other supplies, modernize facilities, or other activities needed to respond to COVID-19.”

The terms and conditions outline several things that healthcare providers cannot spend their PRF on, including executive pay, embryo research, lobbying, and a myriad of illegal activities. Otherwise, healthcare providers have some flexibility in how they decide to use their funds to improve their facilities as a response to the losses they incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modernize Your Facility and Prepare for the Future with HealthLink Dimension’s Community Resource Network Directory

Many healthcare organizations and hospitals are dealing with limited labor resources. This is causing tremendous strain in hospitals with overwhelming numbers of COVID-19 patients.

In addition, managing patients who have been readmitted after discharge is further burdening an already strained healthcare system.

That’s why it’s critical for hospitals to have a modernized plan to place discharged patients in appropriate post-acute care (PAC) facilities. Unfortunately, like hospitals, PAC facilities and providers are overrun, making it challenging to find open beds and availability. This is forcing discharge teams to identify and develop new relationships with PAC providers.

Helping patients get admitted into a PAC facility discharge has been shown to decrease readmission rates overall. However, every step of the discharge process matters. For example, studies have found that the chances of readmission increase if the discharge summary is not completed within three days of patient discharge. Additionally, patients who receive communication intervention when they are discharged from the hospital have lower readmission rates within 30 days than those who do not.

So, hospitals need a solution that can help them find PAC facilities and effectively manage patient information, such as HealthLink Dimension’s Community Resource Network Directory (CRND).

CRND is a free-standing national directory that hospitals can use to find acute care facilities, communicate with other providers, and easily track consolidated patient information.

Best of all, CRND requires minimal IT lift and training. Our cloud-based solutions can be fully operational in 7-days.

CRND’s easy-to-use search feature makes it simple to find the best care facility for patients after discharging them from your facility based on the desired service type and location.

Get Started with CRND from HealthLink Dimensions

If your healthcare facility is receiving funds from the provider relief fund, put them to good use by investing in software that will help all your patients, including COVID-19 patients, get the right care after being discharged from your hospital.

Contact us to learn more about CRND or to implement it into your healthcare facility or hospital.

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