Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it has begun distributing Phase 3 payments from the Provider Relief Fund to over 70,000 providers across the country, totaling $24.5 billion overall. Relief funding specifically for assisted living communities is a part of this distribution.
At Argentum, we have been advocating for this support and relief for the assisted living industry for months and after a long, encumbered road, substantial relief in the tens of millions is finally on its way to providers. We know the revenue lost and expenses shouldered by communities during this pandemic has been significant, and this funding will assist in recouping a major portion of those losses from the first half of the year. Argentum anticipates rapid distribution of this funding and have confirmed that some communities are already receiving relief. We sincerely thank all of those across the industry who’ve worked alongside us, tirelessly advocating for this financial support.
With these payments, HHS has indicated that this will meet 88% of the losses reported by providers over the first half of 2020. Half of those who applied for Phase 3 will begin receiving funding immediately, with many receiving payments today, and the remaining payments to be distributed in late December to early January. Further, we are cautiously optimistic that an application process for a “Phase 3.5”—to recoup losses from the third quarter of 2020—will begin before the administration’s transition in January.
We are aware that there are still outstanding Phase 2 payments that assisted living providers desperately need to continue their operations, and we have been asking HHS to process those as soon as possible. We will continue to stay engaged with HHS to ensure these payments are distributed; please continue to let us know if you have yet to receive Phase 2 funding by emailing HHSproviderfund@argentum.org.
With these Phase 2 and Phase 3 payments, and additional Provider Relief funding anticipated from the next federal relief package, providers will finally begin to see substantial relief. A tentative agreement has been reached on that bipartisan relief package, and we anticipate that there will be an additional $35 billion included for the Provider Relief Fund, inclusive of $2 billion directly allocated to assisted living providers for testing and tracing, as well as an expansion of the PPP. The package is set to be voted on tomorrow.