News | Coronavirus

HHS extends Provider Relief Fund use and reporting as healthcare providers continue to navigate COVID-19 impacts

News | Coronavirus

HHS extends Provider Relief Fund use and reporting as healthcare providers continue to navigate COVID-19 impacts

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced updates to the Provider Relief Fund on June 11.
  • Deadlines to spend funds associated with the PRF allocations will now be staggered based on the time span for which the hospital received funding.
  • Recipients of funds from the PRF will have a 90-day period to complete reporting rather than the original 30-day reporting period.

On June 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced updates to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF):

  • Deadlines to spend funds associated with the PRF allocations will now be staggered based on the time span for which the hospital received funding.
  • Recipients of funds from the PRF will have a 90-day period to complete reporting rather than the original 30-day reporting period.
  • The PRF Reporting Portal (registration required) will open for providers to begin submitting information on July 1, 2021.

Staggered deadlines to spend PRF funds

Congress has approved a combined $187 billion in relief to be directed to hospitals that have experienced crippling losses related to the pandemic. Under the original terms of the PRF, hospitals had until June 30, 2021, to use the money or return it.

Over the past several months, hospitals and providers have pleaded with the new administration to provide additional time, so that they may appropriately review and account for the excessive costs that continue to mount as the pandemic lingers across U.S. communities.

Based on the June 11 update, HHS stated that the deadlines for providers to spend PRF funds on COVID-19 expenses will be extended in a staggered format as follows:

  • Providers that received PRF funds from April 10 through June 30, 2020, will have until June 30, 2021
  • Those that received PRF funds from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2020, will have until Dec. 31, 2021
  • Others that received PRF funds from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2021, will have until  June 30, 2022
  • Those that received PRF funds between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, will have until Dec. 31, 2022

Revised reporting requirements

HHS also revised reporting requirements for healthcare providers that received money from the Provider Relief Fund. Recipients, who received payments exceeding $10,000 will now have a 90-day window to complete reporting, a 60-day extension over the original 30-day reporting period. The reporting requirements are applicable to the Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Home Infection Control Distributions as well.

The agency announced that a PRF Reporting Portal will be opened on July 1 for recipients to begin submitting information. Providers are encouraged to establish their PRF Reporting Portal accounts and receive timely updates about the portal by registering here.

Takeaway

Providers should review the revised reporting requirements and the PRF Reporting Portal Frequently Asked Questions document in their entirety with their trusted adviser to understand the full implications of the June 11, 2021, guidance.  Although the updated guidance was intended to provide clarification, many providers are still left with unanswered questions. However, with the first reporting due date less than 120 days away, there is much that can be done now.

HFMA’s Government Reimbursement Executive Council (GREC) and BKD, the council’s sponsor and expert in this space, deserve kudos for keeping engaged on the much anticipated PRF revisions over the last several months.

 

 

About the Author

Shawn Stack

is HFMA's director of Perspectives & Analysis based in Washington, D.C.

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