PROVIDENCE, RI -- In an effort to help rural health clinics mitigate expenses and revenue losses experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced that rural health care providers in Rhode Island will receive $658,385 in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to provide health care for families across the state.  The federal funding will make 88 payouts to local health care providers and suppliers who serve rural communities and deliver care to Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries.

“COVID-19 impacts us all and this federal funding will help ensure that health care practitioners who serve patients from rural areas can continue to reliably serve them and help combat this pandemic,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “Many rural communities face unique challenges in accessing quality health care.  I am committed to ensuring every Rhode Islander can get the care they need and will continue working hard to support our health care providers and ease the financial burdens caused by the pandemic.  This federal funding will help deliver better care to more residents.”

The federal grants, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and distributed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), will support health care providers who suffered during the pandemic, and can be used to pay salaries or recruit workers, purchase supplies or equipment such as N95 or surgical masks or ventilators, make capital investments, or cover other expenses related to preventing or responding to COVID-19.

Under the PRF program, all eligible providers nationwide that serve at least one Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP beneficiary in a rural community will receive at least $500.  Total payments are based on how many claims health providers submit for rural patients covered by these programs from January 2019 through September 2020.