HHS distributes incentive payments to nursing homes

Dec. 9, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced it will distribute $523 million in a second round of performance payments to over 9,000 nursing homes for successfully reducing COVID-19 related infections and deaths between September and October, according to a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

This is the second of five evaluation cycles rewarding nursing homes for reducing nursing home infection and mortality rates. Nursing homes will begin receiving payments December 9.

In August, HHS announced plans to distribute $5 billion in additional Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments to nursing homes, including $2 billion to establish an incentive-based program to reward nursing homes that create and maintain safe environments for their residents.

In October, HHS awarded a total of $331 million in the first round of incentive payments to nursing homes that kept new COVID-19 infection and mortality rates among residents lower than the communities they serve.

Of the 13,251 eligible nursing homes, 9,248, or 69 percent, met the incentive program's infection control criteria between September and October. While less than the first cycle, the collective efforts of these nursing homes resulted in over 3,900 fewer infections relative to the rates seen in the communities where the nursing homes operate. Against the mortality criteria, 9,128, or 68 percent of eligible nursing homes, achieved outcomes that met or exceeded the expected COVID-19 mortality rate for their facility.

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