© Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rhode Island
© Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rhode Island

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced a fresh round of $20 billion funding for frontline healthcare providers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new allocation will take into account financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus, the agency said, adding that providers that have already received relief fund payments can also apply for more funds.

Providers who have recently begun practice and behavioral health providers grappling with a surge in mental health and substance abuse issues since the virus outbreak can also apply.

The move comes as prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders surged in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm.

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. government has announced billions of dollars in support for hospitals and medical providers to meet the increased expenses from rising COVID-19 cases and to cover lost revenues due to suspension of medical procedures and routine visits.

The HHS has already issued over $100 billion in relief funding to providers through prior distributions.

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