More federal relief money available for Florida health providers


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has notified Florida doctors and safety-net health providers about the availability of upward of $25 billion in additional federal COVID-19 relief money.

The DeSantis administration sent an alert Wednesday advising health-care providers about the opportunity to qualify.

Of the money, $15 billion will be targeted to clinicians who participate in state Medicaid programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and have not already received previous payments from $50 billion made available under a stimulus law known as the CARES Act. U.S.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made the announcement Wednesday, saying in a prepared statement that, “Healthcare providers who focus on treating the most vulnerable Americans, including low-income and minority patients, are absolutely essential to our fight against COVID-19.”

The funding is being made available through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

Payments to clinicians will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care and will vary based on Medicaid patient caseload.

Close to 1 million health-care providers may be eligible for the funding, according to the federal government.

It’s not clear how many Florida clinicians and providers -- including pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists, dentists, opioid treatment and behavioral health providers, assisted living facilities and other home- and community-based services providers -- would qualify.

The remaining $10 billion announced Wednesday is for safety-net hospitals that meet certain requirements, including profitability of 3% or less in their most recently filed cost reports.