• AAFP Advocacy Helps Reopen HRSA PRF Reporting Portal

    April 20 2022, 5:22 p.m. News Staff — Recent AAFP advocacy has yielded a win for family physicians who received payment from the Provider Relief Fund but have not yet finalized required reporting.

    Physician at computer keyboard

    The Health Resources and Services Administration temporarily reopened its reporting portal for recipients of Period 1 Provider Relief Funds. The agency has said that some 16,000 Period 1 recipients had not completed required reporting as of earlier this month. The original deadline was Nov. 30, 2021.

    The move answers a March 31 letter to HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson, signed by the Academy alongside numerous other physician groups, urging the agency to take this and related steps to allow adequate reporting opportunity.

    Physicians who received more than $10,000 in provider relief funds but have not yet completed their Period 1 report have until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 22 to submit a Request to Report Late form. The HRSA says it has initiated contact with affected practices; clinicians who have not yet sent a Period 1 report and haven’t heard from the agency can call 866-569-3522.

    The Academy and its co-signatories, including the American College of Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association and the AMA, had asked for a 60-day portal reopening.

    “We are hearing that the practices out of compliance simply did not know about the requirement to report,” the letter said. “A number of physician practices have reached out to us with their serious concerns about the Period 1 funding they received being recouped and have provided greater insight into the many reasons why reporting by the deadline did not occur.

    “Small and rural physician practices appear to be particularly impacted by the reporting deadline and the potential recoupment of funds. These practices, often under-resourced even while they provide critical health care services, cannot afford to have the funds they received recouped. During the late fall, when the delta variant was surging, these physician practices and others were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 surges in many ways that may have prevented or delayed the required reporting.”

    Extenuating circumstances allowed by the new form for practices reporting late are

    • severe illness or death of a practice clinician or key staff member responsible for reporting;
    • natural disaster;
    • lack of receipt of reporting communications (an “incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the reporting period deadline,” the agency says);
    • failure to click “submit” in the reporting portal prior to the original deadline;
    • internal miscommunication or error “regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF reporting portal;”
    • incomplete targeted distribution payments (“the organization’s parent entity completed all general distribution payments but a targeted distribution(s) was not reported on by the subsidiary”).

    HRSA requires attestation to one of these circumstances but is not asking for supporting documentation. After approval of the form, clinicians will receive notification and then have 10 days from receipt of that communication to submit the late Period 1 report through the PRF reporting portal.