Xavier Becerra
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra

Another $2 billion in Provider Relief Funds is becoming available starting this week, federal health officials said.

The relief funding will be released as part of the Phase 4 general distribution payments and will be awarded to 7,600 providers across the country. 

The Department of Health and Human Services released $9 billion in Phase 4 payments in December to providers that have experienced revenue loss and/or increased expenses related to the pandemic. It was a heavily anticipated occurrence for operators.

“Provider Relief Fund payments have served as a lifeline for our nation’s heroic health care providers throughout the pandemic, helping them to continue to recruit and retain staff and deliver care to their communities,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement Tuesday.

With the latest distribution, HHS will have doled out nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments to more than 74,000 thousand healthcare providers. Some critics say HHS has acted too slowly to release the relief funding.

Providers are urging the administration to distribute another $6 million and Congress to authorize $25 billion more, according to a from Modern Healthcare report Wednesday.

“Providers have understandably been frustrated that it took the Biden administration this long to resume distributing money they were just sitting on,” Brenna Jenny, a partner at Sidley Austin law firm, told the news organization. Jenny served as HHS’s principal legal adviser on the Provider Relief Fund during the Trump administration.