• Feds release new info on COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released detailed reporting requirements for health care providers who receive payments from the $175 billion COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund (PRF). The money is intended to offset expenses and revenue losses caused by the pandemic.

    Key issues addressed in the guidance released Sept. 19 by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) include:

    • Use of PRF payments in conjunction with other funding sources,
    • Definition of revenue losses attributable to COVID-19,
    • Definition of health care-related expenses attributable to COVID-19,
    • Reporting by parent organizations on behalf of subsidiaries.

    The reporting requirements will apply to PRF recipients who received a total of $10,000 or more. They will not apply to the Nursing Home Infection Control distribution, the Rural Health Clinic Testing distribution, or reimbursement from the HRSA Uninsured Program.

    HHS previously anticipated the PRF reporting system would open in October, but the agency now says it won’t be available until early 2021. 

    The updated guidance did not, however, revise the reporting deadlines outlined in the previous guidance released July 20 (though they may be adjusted in the future). For now, the key deadlines are:

    1. All those required to report must do so by Feb. 14, 2021, on their expenditures through the period ending Dec. 31, 2020.
    2. Recipients who have fully expended their funds before Dec. 31, 2020, may submit a single final report at any time during the first reporting window.
    3. Recipients with funds left over after Dec. 31, 2020, must submit a second and final report by July 31, 2021.

    That means that if recipients do not spend all of their PRF funds by the end of 2020, they will have an additional six months to use the remainder toward COVID-19 expenses not reimbursed by other sources, or to apply toward lost revenues in an amount not to exceed their 2019 net gain. (For example, the reporting period January to June 2021 will be compared to the same period in 2019).

    HRSA also plans to issue a Frequently Asked Questions document to aid in the reporting process. Work closely with your financial and tax advisors to complete the process, if necessary.

    — Sandy Pogones, Senior Strategist for Healthcare Quality, and Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment, American Academy of Family Physicians.

    Posted on Sep 28, 2020 by Kent Moore

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